Barcelona to face Club America of Mexico or Asian Champions League winners in semi-finals of Club World Cup


Barcelona will begin their quest for the Club World Cup title against either Club America of Mexico or the Asian Champions League winner.

The Champions League and La Liga winners have a bye in the first round and will start in the semifinals on December 17 in Yokohama.

River Plate of Argentina, the Copa Libertadores champion in South America, will also begin in the semifinals. They will play in Osaka against the African Champions League winner, Auckland City of New Zealand or the J-League winner.

Auckland City, the Oceania Champions League champion, opens the tournament on December 10 against the J-League winner.

All seven qualified teams will be known by November or early December. The tournament’s draw took place at FIFA’s headquarters on Wednesday. It will be the 12th edition of FIFA’s Club World Cup, and the seventh in Japan.

‘To bring the best football clubs in the world together is a great achievement,’ FIFA President Sepp Blatter said.

‘The basis of our game is the clubs. Club football is part of football, and therefore of FIFA, so it was important for us to organize this tournament.’

The tournament’s final takes place in Yokohama on December 20. Barcelona last won the title in 2011. River Plate are playing in the competition for the first time. Real Madrid is the defending champion.