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FIFA insist Club World Cup WILL still go ahead 'as planned' despite two missile attacks on Abu Dhabi

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FIFA insist Club World Cup WILL still go ahead ‘as planned’ in February despite two Houthi missile attacks on host city Abu Dhabi in the last week, with Chelsea due to fly out to UAE for the tournament in the coming days

  • The Club World Cup will still go ahead ‘as planned’ in February, insist FIFA
  • It comes after Abu Dhabi, where the tournament will be played, was attacked
  • Yemen’s long-running war with UAE esculated last week which saw two ballistic missiles fired at Abu Dhabi by Houthi rebels
  • The conflict has sparked doubts over whether the tournament should go ahead
  • English side Chelsea are due to take part in the Club World Cup next month


FIFA have said the Club World Cup, due to take place in Abu Dhabi next month, will still go ahead as planned despite the major esculations between Yemen and the United Arab Emirates in the last week.

It comes days after the UAE confirmed that it had intercepted and destroyed two ballistic missiles over Abu Dhabi that were fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

The clashes are part of a major escalation in the seven-year war after the Huthis, following a series of territorial defeats, launched a deadly drone-and-missile attack on the UAE last week, killing three civilians.

The Club World Cup, hosted in Abu Dhabi, will still go ahead as planned in February, insist FIFA

The Club World Cup, hosted in Abu Dhabi, will still go ahead as planned in February, insist FIFA

It comes after suspected drone attacks carried out by Iran-backed Houthi rebels last week which killed three people and left six wounded in Abu Dhabi. Pictured: Black smoke billows up into the air following suspected drone attack

It comes after suspected drone attacks carried out by Iran-backed Houthi rebels last week which killed three people and left six wounded in Abu Dhabi. Pictured: Black smoke billows up into the air following suspected drone attack

The attacks on the UAE have now raised doubts over February’s Club World Cup, which pits the winners of major club tournaments from around the world against each other.

Premier League side and Champions League winners Chelsea are due to take part in the tournament that is scheduled between February 3 and February 12.

But despite the esculation out in the Middle East, FIFA have said the tournament will still go ahead but is ‘monitoring the situation’.

‘The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021 will be hosted as planned,’ a FIFA spokesperson told Al Jazeera.

‘When it comes to security at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021, FIFA is continuing to monitor the situation and working closely with the Local Organising Committee, and other key stakeholders in the UAE, regarding security arrangements for the tournament.’

The black smoke could be seen rising up into the air following the suspected drone attack

The black smoke could be seen rising up into the air following the suspected drone attack

The seven-team tournament, which is held across two venues in Abu Dhabi, will be kicked off by host team Al Jazira Club and Tahiti’s AS Pirae, who replaced Auckland City after the New Zealand side pulled out due to Covid regulations.

AL Ahly, Monterrey, Al Hilal and Palmeiras all complete the line up along with Thomas Tuchel’s side, who are due to fly out to the UAE capital in the coming days.

Hundreds of thousands have been killed and millions displaced in the conflict, which the United Nations has labelled the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.  

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, claimed on Monday they had launched the attack on the UAE, without elaborating. 

The UAE has been at war in Yemen since early 2015, and was a key member of the Saudi-led coalition that launched attacks against the Iranian-backed Houthis after the group overran the capital of Yemen and ousted the internationally backed government from power. 

Champions League winners Chelsea are due to take part in the Club World Cup next month

Champions League winners Chelsea are due to take part in the Club World Cup next month

Although the UAE has decreased the number of troops it has on the ground since 2019, it continues to be actively engaged in the war and supports key militias fighting the Houthis. It also cooperates closely with the United States in counter-terrorism operations in Yemen. 

Following last week’s attack, video footage from Abu Dhabi showed a black plume of smoke rising up into the sky from the area of one of the reported drone attacks.   

A full investigation has been launched, the police said, without identifying the wounded.  

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