Japan is set to waive its rights to host the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup because of coronavirus pandemic restrictions, media reports said Wednesday.
The Japanese Football Association (JFA) said it decided to give up hosting this year’s tournament and is now discussing the matter with FIFA, according to Kyodo News agency.
FIFA named Japan host nation for the 2021 Club World Cup last December. The tournament is usually held annually in that month.
JFA sources said they decided to withdraw from hosting because of a risk of increased infections and a low-profit margin due to spectator restrictions amid the pandemic.
“Unless we forge a path to where events can be staged in coexistence with the virus, soccer (football) as well as other sports won’t be able to maintain themselves,” a senior JFA official told Kyodo.
Japan is an eight-time Club World Cup host, last being in 2016.
Kyodo said JFA’s profit for the 2020 fiscal year was reduced by 5 billion yen from 2019 to 15 billion yen (nearly $136 million) because of the coronavirus restrictions.
Tokyo hosted the Olympic Games and Paralympics this summer but fans were barred from sporting events due to rising infections in Japan.