The 2021 FIFA Club World Cup will be without Auckland City after they withdrew from the tournament on Friday.
The New Zealand and Oceania champions informed FIFA that the Covid-19 pandemic and quarantine issues required from the nation’s authorities have forced them into the decision.
City will now likely be replaced by eight-time Tahiti champions AS Pirae of AS Venus, the OFC confirmed shortly after the decision was announced.
“We’re obviously bitterly disappointed that circumstances have put participation beyond our reach for the second year in a row,” club president Ivan Vuksich said.
“A lot of hard work and effort went into preparing to compete in the UAE, so to be unable to go is a blow.”
Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly will face Mexican giants Monterey in the opening round while Thulani Serero’s Al Jazira will host the OFC representative in the opening game.
The tournament set to be hosted in the United Arab Emirates after Japan pulled out last year is scheduled for February 2022.