Friday, October 13, 2006

Japan ponders fan support for Club World Cup 2006

European champion Barcelona will face either Club America of Mexico or the winner of the Asian Champions League in the semifinals of the FIFA Club World Cup in December. Following Thursday's draw in Tokyo, South American champion Internacional, which beat cup holder Sao Paulo in the Libertadores Cup final to claim a place in the tournament, will take on the winner of the quarterfinal between Auckland City and the African Champions League winner. The six-way event kicks off on 10 December at Toyota Stadium. The final will be held on 17 December at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama.

"The Asian and African champions will be determined next month, but no J.League club will feature in the Club World Cup for the second straight year. In 2005, the club world championship's first year under a new name and format, former Japan national team striker Kazuyoshi Miura played for Sydney FC of Oceania alongside former Manchester United star Dwight Yorke. But without a hometown draw in this year's rendition of the Club World Cup, organizers will have to count on the drawing power of Barcelona," Shintaro Kano commented in the Daily Yomiuri.

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