Dubai, May 28: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has won the right to stage the 2009 and 2010 editions of the Fifa Club World Cup, beating bids from strong contersers like Japan, Australia and Portugal.
President Sepp Blatter announced the Fifa Executive Committee's decision to award the annual event to the UAE in Sydney yesterday after the UAE Football Association made a strong bid to host the champion clubs from around the world in Abu Dhabi. With a prize money of 16.5 million dollars on offer, the Fifa Club World Cup will bring together the champion clubs of Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America and Oceania group with one representative from the UAE also getting a chance to qualify for the tournament proper.
AC Milan are the 2007 champions while Manchester United, along with this year's continental champions, will figure in this year's edition which will be played in Japan.
''It was between Japan and the UAE and I must say the UAE's proposal was a very attractive one,'' Blatter said.
The tournament is scheduled to be held in December. The announcement comes as a huge boost to the sporting fraternity of the country, and to Abu Dhabi in particular.
In 2009, the capital will also host the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Formula One, the Gulf News said.