The 2015 FIFA Club World Cup (officially known as the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2015 presented by Alibaba E-Auto for sponsorship reasons) was the 12th edition of the FIFA Club World Cup, a FIFA-organised international club football tournament between the champion clubs from each of the six continental confederations, as well as the national league champion from the host country. The tournament was hosted by Japan between 10–20 December 2015.
The application process for the 2015–2016 as well as the 2017–2018 editions, i.e. two hosts, each hosting two years, began in February 2014. Member associations interested in hosting had to submit a declaration of interest by 30 March 2014, and provide the complete set of bidding documents by 25 August 2014. The FIFA Executive Committee was to select the hosts at their meeting in Morocco in December 2014. However, no such decision regarding the 2015–2016 host was made until 2015.
The following countries expressed an interest in bidding to host the tournament: India (withdrew interest in November 2014)
Japan was officially confirmed as the host of the 2015 and 2016 tournaments on 23 April 2015.
Under a proposed change to the competition, led by the Oceania Football Confederation, the new format would mean a removal of the knockout rounds for the quarter-finals and play-off round, replacing it with two round-robin groups of three teams, consisting of two teams from the host nation and the champions of AFC, CAF, CONCACAF, and OFC, with the group winners advancing to the semi-finals to play the champions of CONMEBOL and UEFA. This would allow for all teams to play at least two matches, avoiding the current situation where the loser of the play-off round would play only one match. A decision on this would be taken after the 2014 competition finished. However, according to the press release of the host country, the tournament will continue with the original seven-team format in 2015.
1 In bold: Previous tournament winners
2 River Plate qualified as the CONMEBOL representatives on 22 July 2015 when UANL, who are from Mexico and not eligible to represent CONMEBOL in the FIFA Club World Cup, were confirmed as their opponents in the final.
On 22 May 2015, Nagai Stadium in Osaka and International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama were named as the two venues that would be used in the tournament.
The appointed match officials were:
Each team must name a 23-man squad (three of whom must be goalkeepers) by the FIFA deadline of 30 November 2015. The squads of six of the seven teams were released by FIFA on 3 December 2015 (except Sanfrecce Hiroshima, who only confirmed their place in the tournament on 5 December 2015). Injury replacements are allowed until 24 hours before the team's first match.
The schedule of the tournament, together with the emblem, was unveiled on 24 August 2015.
A draw was held on 23 September 2015, 14:00 CEST (UTC+2), at the FIFA headquarters in Zürich, Switzerland, to determine the positions in the bracket for the three teams which enter the quarter-finals.
If a match is tied after normal playing time:For elimination matches, extra time is played. If still tied after extra time, a penalty shoot-out is held to determine the winner.
For the matches for fifth place and third place, no extra time is played, and a penalty shoot-out is held to determine the winner.
All times are local, JST (UTC+9).
Per statistical convention in football, matches decided in extra time are counted as wins and losses, while matches decided by penalty shoot-out are counted as draws.
The following awards were given at the conclusion of the tournament.