Auckland withdraws from Club World Cup, replaced by Pirae

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) — Auckland City FC has withdrawn from the Club World Cup because of New Zealand’s tight coronavirus restrictions and will be replaced by Tahiti’s AS Pirae, FIFA said Friday.

FIFA said Auckland “had to reluctantly withdraw from the tournament” because of the delayed reopening of New Zealand’s borders due to the pandemic.

Pirae will join other continental champions, including Chelsea, Palmeiras and Al Ahly, at the tournament in the United Arab Emirates from Feb. 3-12.

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