Chelsea’s future in an important competition is in jeopardy

Chelsea’s future in an important competition is in jeopardy

Chelsea’s hopes of lifting another trophy currently in jeopardy, a latest development that has come as a shock to all Chelsea family all over the world.

Chelsea is set to kick off its Champions League
campaign in a number of days when it welcomes
Russian Premier League champion Zenit to SW6. The
Blues will now have a target on their back as the
European champions and being the reigning Champions
League winner doesn’t come with any perks in the
tournament the following season. While the competition
wipes the slate clean come Tuesday, Chelsea still
receives some benefits as the winner outside of Europe.
The most notable reward for winning the Champions
League—aside from automatic qualification in Pot 1 for
the following year—is earning a trip to the FIFA Club
World Cup. The stands of Stamford Bridge will often ring
out with chants of “we’ve won it all.” While that is meant
to taunt opposing sides who have presumably never
won the UCL, it’s not entirely accurate. The Blues have
never won the Club World Cup in its brief history.
Chelsea has only played in it once before and finished
second (2012). The Blues will hopefully get a chance to
redeem the 1-0 loss to Corinthians almost a decade
ago come December.

Japan will no longer host the 2021 Club
World Cup, putting Chelsea’s place in the
competition in serious jeopardy
The “hopefully” was included due to recent
developments regarding the tournament. It was made
official on Thursday that the planned host country,
Japan, notified FIFA of its intentions to withdraw as the
sponsor nation. Japan was set to host the Club World
Cup for the first time since 2016 before Coronavirus
protocols were extended in light of a fifth wave
spreading throughout the nation. The Olympic and
Paralympic Games were held in Tokyo earlier this year,
albeit with no fans in attendance. Japan simply felt it
was unprepared to host another major athletic
tournament as the health and safety of citizens comes
first.
How does this impact Chelsea though? Simply put, the
answer to that particular question is in FIFA’s hands.
The governing body of world football is still discussing
the next steps. There are presumably two options being
discussed: relocation or rescheduling.
A relocation will further complicate matters. This will
mean the United Kingdom’s government will likely need
to become involved regarding Coronavirus precautions
necessary for when the Blues return to England. The end
of December is one of the busiest times of the year for
the Premier League with Boxing Day and New Year’s
Day contests. Therefore, Chelsea could not afford to be
hit with a lengthy quarantine or it’d become even more
of a mess than the fixture list is currently. This is what
makes the prospect of rescheduling so appealing. The
tournament was delayed a number of months during the
height of the COVID-19 outbreak, so it’s not
unprecedented that it moves again in 2021 amidst
another wave.
However, the waters the Blues are approaching are
unprecedented. There is no set way to go about this
situation, there are no rules or guidelines. Jurgen Klopp
sent a heavily rotated Liverpool squad to Qatar, who
could host this year’s tournament to prepare for the
2022 World Cup, just a few seasons ago anyway. The
Reds didn’t have to worry about COVID, the tournament
was just an inconvenience on the calendar, but an
important one nonetheless. Chelsea has a deep enough
squad to seemingly get it through the December fixtures
—which include the likes of Everton, Wolves, Aston Villa
and Brighton—and lift the CWC for the first time in its
history. Thomas Tuchel’s men will likely formulate a
strategy once the new plans are cemented and the date
draws closer.
There is still a lot of uncertainty regarding the field,
which includes just three teams at this moment in
time. Al Ahly (Confederation of African
Football), Auckland City (Oceania Football
Confederation) and Chelsea (Union of European Football
Associations) have all qualified thus far. They will
eventually be joined by four other clubs. The Blues and
the CONMEBOL nominee will enter the tournament in
the semifinals.
It’d be a shame to see the Blues have to put this
tournament on the back burner. While it’s not important
enough to reschedule a plethora of Premier League
matches for, it’s still a trophy the team has never lifted .
Chelsea is all about writing history and that needs to be
prioritized to a certain extent when the club develops a
plan for how to approach the 2021 Club World Cup.

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