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FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 draw released

The official draw for the FIFA Club World Cup 2020 has been released ahead of the tournament’s scheduled start in Qatar next month.

Six teams are participating in the tournament that runs between the February 4 and 11.

Al-Duhail SC (Qatar), Al Ahly SC (Egypt), FC Bayern Munich (Germany), Ulsan Hyundai FC (South Korea), Tigres UANL (Mexico) and the Copa Libertadores (South America) champions will compete in the World Cup – the Copa Libertadores final is scheduled for January 30.

The draw was held at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland and was conducted by FIFA Deputy Director of Competitions Jaime Yarza.

The tournament kicks off with Tigres UANL taking on Ulsan Hyundai FC at 17:00 local time (01:00 February 5 AEDT) on February 4 at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.

Later that day Al Duhail SC and Al Ahly SC will face off at Education City Stadium at 20:30 (04:30 February 5 AEDT).

The winner of the Tigres-Ulsan clash will then play the Copa Libertadores champions – either Palmeiras or Santos in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile the winner of the Al Duhail-Al Ahly match will move on to play FC Bayern Munich.

The final then takes place at Education City Stadium on February 11 at 21:00 (05:00 February 12 AEDT).

Last week it was confirmed that Auckland City FC would be unable to participate in the tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the quarantine requirements that have been put in place by the New Zealand government.

This resulted in local team Al-Duhail SC moving directly to the second round.

“The competition format remains unchanged, with the opening match forfeited,” FIFA said.

“The tournament will now be staged at Education City and Ahmad Bin Ali Stadiums, while Khalifa International Stadium, which was originally due to host two games, will not be used.”

The FIFA Club World Cup was first played in 2000 and features the winners of the UEFA Champions League, AFC Champions League, CAF Champions League, CONCACAF Champions League, Copa Libertadores, OFC Champions League plus the champions of the host nation’s national league.

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Daniel Foley is a sports junior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and micro industry matters.

Sports Flick acquire Austrian Bundesliga TV rights deal

Australian sports streaming service Sports Flick has secured an exclusive TV rights deal to broadcast Austria’s Tipico Bundesliga in Australia.

Australian sports streaming service Sports Flick has secured an exclusive TV rights deal to broadcast Austria’s Tipico Bundesliga in Australia.

The Sydney-based streaming service will start broadcasting the Austrian Bundesliga this weekend – a multi-year agreement allows for one marquee match to be shown per round for the three remaining rounds of the 2020/21 season.

Austrian Bundesliga’s Championship Round and the 2021/22 season are also incorporated in the rights deal, which was brokered with the official global media rights distribution partner for the league, Sportradar.

“Sports Flick has a goal to become the number one location for football in Australia,” Sports Flick General Manager Michael Turner said.

“With football being Australia’s number one grassroots participation sport, fans are craving more football content from across the world. One of our goals is to give fans the chance to watch different competitions and engage with the world’s game.”

Sports Flick said that the Austrian Tipico Bundesliga rights deal was their first major acquisition in European Football.

“Our Austrian Tipico Bundesliga coverage provides Australians a unique opportunity to watch more European Football and watch some of the up-and-coming football stars playing in the Austrian top flight,” Sports Flick CEO Dylan Azzopardi said.

In the coming weeks, Sports Flick are expected to make further announcements regarding rights deals.

Last week, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Sports Flick had secured the exclusive rights to broadcast the UEFA Champions League in Australia – for around $60 million over three years.

Optus Sport currently holds the rights to the UEFA Champions League on a three-year deal that expires after the 2020/21 season.

The Austrian Bundesliga broadcast deal follows Sports Flick announcement last Thursday, of an exclusive TV rights deal to broadcast South Korea’s K-League 1.

Under a multi-year agreement, the rights deal saw Sports Flick start broadcasting K-League matches from February 27.

The K-League TV rights deal was also brokered with Sportradar.

Alongside the Austrian Bundesliga and K-League, the streaming service also has the rights to the UEFA Women’s Champions League, Liga Primera (Nicaraguan football top division) and the Arabian Gulf League.

 

Football Queensland begin Female Football Week celebrations

Football Queensland have begun their state-wide celebration of Female Football Week, commemorating the game’s proud past, present and future.

The annual celebrations have heightened significance this year, in what is the centenary season of women’s football in Queensland.

“This year’s Female Football Week is a great opportunity to recognise and reflect on the extremely important role of women and girls in football’s past, present and especially its future,” FQ President Ben Richardson said.

“The incredible digital history museum FQ launched last week gives us all insights into the remarkable story of the women’s game here in Queensland, which kicked off with the momentous first public match at the Gabba on 24 September 1921.

“We are proud to bring greater attention to the 100-year anniversary by widely releasing our centenary season logo, which is another example of FQ’s commitment to embracing the game’s history and diversity.”

The governing body will release a series of videos this week showcasing the stories of past, present and future Queensland and Australian footballing heroes.

The state’s first Matildas captain, Sue Monteath, will be featured in the opening video.

Football Queensland will also shine a light on several ‘Women’s Football Champions’ who have contributed to the game and helped provide girls with opportunities at a grassroots level.

“This initiative gets to the core of what Female Football Week is all about by recognising those who share FQ’s passion for delivering inclusive, high-quality participation opportunities,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“With the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 approaching, it is more important than ever that the community unites behind FQ’s message that women and girls are the future.

“We made that clear in the Women and Girls Strategy 2021-2023 that was presented to political, sporting and football leaders at Parliament House on Tuesday.

“FQ is driving progress towards unlocking Queensland’s FIFA Women’s Cup 2023 legacy and Female Football Week continues to make a strong contribution to that journey.”

Female Football Week will conclude on the 8th of March.

Football NSW introduce Winter Futsal League for 2021

Football NSW have announced they will introduce a new Winter Futsal League for both men and women this season.

The new competition is set to kick off in late March and will run for 12 weeks, with a finals series to conclude the season.

All matches will be played at Valentine Sports Park in Sydney, with six teams already registered to compete in the league.

Football NSW’s Futsal Manager Jordan Guerreiro was excited about the introduction of the new elite competition, which will improve the quality of the small-sided game in the state.

“This is a fantastic opportunity in which our Futsal Players and our Futsal Clubs can now get involved all year round. The Winter Futsal competition is designed to create a middle ground between Grassroots Futsal and Elite Futsal in which Football NSW and the clubs can engage our Futsal players to have a quality competition,” he said.

“The Winter Futsal League I believe is an important beginning stage in the development of Futsal to be perceived as a sport that is played by our community all year round. This initiative also opens up an opportunity for these clubs involved to improve their club’s engagement with their players.

“As the State Governing Body of Futsal, we want to continue to improve our service of the game and continue to build our Futsal framework to develop a community of players. Football NSW would like to create a sustainable league and continue to develop and grow this competition to engage with more clubs to get involved.”

The six teams set to feature in the league are listed below.

  • Eastern Suburbs Hakoah
  • Inner West Magic
  • Mountain Majik
  • Phoenix Futsal
  • Sydney Futsal
  • West City Crusaders

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