Liverpool’s opening game at this month’s Qatar FIFA Club World Cup has received a last-minute venue switch after original host Education City Stadium was deemed unsuitable to stage matches.

The Khalifa International Stadium will instead host three additional games, with final completion on the building of Education City Stadium now expected in early 2020. The decision comes as the initial venue wasn’t ready to stage test events in advance of the tournament.

“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,” a statement issued by the club announced.

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“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, which has a capacity of 40,000, recently held the World Athletics Championships and was originally intended to host two fixtures on December 17 – the fifth-place play-off and the semi-final involving Copa Libertadores winners Flamengo.

However, it will now also the second semi-final featuring European champions Liverpool on December 18 as well as the final and third-placed playoff on December 21.

“Fans who successfully applied for tickets to match 6 and the double-header of matches 7 and 8 will not be impacted – all their tickets will be automatically issued to Khalifa International Stadium, and their seats will be allocated within the same price category,” FIFA said of the switch. (RT)