Liverpool’s first match at the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar has switched venues as the Education City Stadium is not yet ready to host matches.
The Khalifa International Stadium will host three additional matches during this month’s tournament – with the Education City Stadium completion now postponed until early 2020.
Tournament organisers took the decision to switch venues as test events could not be held at the Education City Stadium before the FIFA Club World Cup.
“Liverpool FC can confirm we have been informed by FIFA that our two matches in the FIFA Club World Cup will now be played at Khalifa International Stadium and not Education City as planned,” said a club statement.
“As per our protocols, we will now send relevant LFC officials to Qatar in the coming days to inspect Khalifa International Stadium.
“We will update supporters next week on any additional information as a result of the change of stadium.”
The Khalifa International Stadium recently held the World Athletics Championships and has the same 40,000-capacity as the Education City Stadium.
It was originally meant to host the double-header fixtures on December 17, the fifth-place play-off and the semi-final involving Copa Libertadores winners Flamengo, who beat River Plate in the final.
But now the stadium – which reopened in May 2017 – will play host to the second semi-final, which will involve Jurgen Klopp‘s Champions League holders on December 18. It will also host the final and the third-place play-off on December 21.
Tickets are valid for the fixtures at the Khalifa International Stadium and information will be sent out to fans in due course.
Defender Virgil van Dijk has spoken of the “big challenge” awaiting his side in Qatar in December.
Klopp’s side are bidding to become the first Liverpool team to win the competition, with Rafael Benitez’s team in 2005 losing in the final.
Van Dijk said: “It will be a big challenge, it will be something that we haven’t experienced before.
“We’re at the stage right now where we have the experience of playing international football [with our national teams].
“We have players who’ve played all over the world anyway. It’s going to be a totally different challenge for us but it’s something that we’re definitely looking forward to.”