'First Step': How FIFA Club World Cup Is A Prelude To Qatar 2022

Doha, Qatar - The FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar has entered the knockout stage, with the semi-final lineup decided.

Mexican side and CONCACAF champions, Monterrey, earned a meeting with English Premier League leaders, Liverpool, after beating home favourites Al Sadd 3-2 on Saturday night at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in the capital, Doha.

The other semi-final will feature South American champions Flamengo and Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal, who defeated Tunisian club Esperance 1-0.

But as the Gulf state stages the country's biggest football event in the lead up to the 2022 World Cup, there is an atmosphere of optimism as well as uncertainty.

"The FIFA Club World Cup naturally brings less international fans and fewer teams than the FIFA World Cup, but still enables us and the hosts to test some of our plans and the local infrastructure," a FIFA spokesperson told Al Jazeera.

"Besides that, it offers the fans and the teams an opportunity to discover the FIFA World Cup host three years in advance," said the official representing the football's world governing body.

- Read more: aljazeera.com


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