Big in Japan: FIFA Club World Cup is coming to Japan

On Monday, Big in Japan brought you news about the first female baseball player to be drafted into the big leagues….

In keeping with the sports theme, today’s post is aimed at spreading the word about the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup tournament in Tokyo and neighboring Yokohama.

Somewhere along the way, America missed out on the soccer memo that seems to have been given priority status in just about every other country. In fact, we’re pretty much the only people in the world that think football is played with elongated pigskins and not spherical black and white balls.

But there is time to get on the real ‘football’ bandwagon, and to perhaps do a bit of sightseeing in Japan while you’re at it. In case you’ve been looking for yet another reason to visit this side of the Pacific pond, why not check out a bit of world-class footie in between shrines and sushi?

That’s right – the FIFA Club World Cup is coming to Japan this December!!

Keep reading to find out more!

Starting on December 11th, the FIFA Club World Cup will begin in Japan, and will feature the best footballs teams from every corner of the globe.

Japan is no stranger to world-class football, having hosted the Toyota Cup from 1980 to 2004, which pitted the South American and European champions against each other on neutral ground. Of course, the Club World Cup is an exponentially bigger tournament, featuring the champions from each FIFA continental league.

This year, the Club World Cup consists of Egypt’s Al Ahly, who recently clinched the African championship, and has the greatest number of tournament appearances, as well as Mexico’s Pachuca, Ecuador’s Liga de Quito, Australia’s Adelaide United, New Zealand’s Waitakere United, England’s Manchester United, and the hometown favorite, namely Osaka Gamba.

Japan has hosted the event since 2005, though the Club World Cup will move to Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2009 and 2010. In other words, you better act now if you want to catch FIFA action in the Land of the Rising Sun.

So, here is the nitty-gritty:

On December 11th, 13th and 17th, matches are taking place at Tokyo’s National Stadium, which previously hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics.

On December 18th and 21st, the action switches to Yokahama’s International Stadium, which previously hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

More information about this year’s tournament can be found by clicking here.

So, how do you get tickets? That’s easy.

Whether you’re living overseas, or currently living as an ex-pat in Japan, you can book tickets directly through the official tournament website by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can book special FIFA Club World Cup packages through various travel agencies, which provide you with tickets, accommodation and game day transportation.

Check out JAPANiCAN’s tour packages, which guarantee you seats to the final two games on December 21st, as well as accommodation in Yokohama – prices start at 44,900 yen (approximately US$470) excluding airfare.

If you’re currently in Japan, or just happen to be passing through Asia this holiday season, be sure to check out the tournament. After all, the FIFA Club World Cup is way, way bigger than the Super Bowl (^_^)

** All images are trademarked by FIFA, and are presented here for the purpose of brand identification and/or critical commentary **