Bayern Munich Club World Cup preparations hit by long flight delay
Bayern Munich’s travel plans for the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup were hit more than seven hours late on Friday evening, meaning they did not take off from Germany to travel to Qatar , where the tournament takes place, until Saturday morning.
Bayern were traveling straight from Berlin after their Bundesliga clash with Hertha, won by a single first-half goal from Kingsley Coman, but the team’s plane was denied permission to take off on time scheduled shortly before midnight.
The flight was delayed by more than seven hours and the unforeseen overnight stay forced the crew to change as the original staff had already reached their maximum hours.
There was also to be an additional layover in Munich and the trip to Doha for the Club World Cup finally started shortly after 9 a.m. (CET) on Saturday morning.
Bayern would have arrived in Qatar by then if they could have left on time. Instead, they won’t land in Gulf State until Saturday night.
Losing most of a day means Bayern will only have Sunday to train and prepare before facing CAF Champions League winner Al Ahly of Egypt in the semi-final Monday February 8.
If Bayern defeat Al Ahly, they will face Palmeiras or Tigres in the final on Thursday 11 February.
Palmeiras qualified by winning the delayed 2020 Copa Libertadores last month, while the Mexican Tigers are the defending CONCACAF champions. Both are competing in the Club World Cup for the first time, although Palmeiras played the former Intercontinental Cup in 1999.
The 2020 competition, which was postponed from December due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, has already started.
Local champions Al Duhail won their first preliminary round match against Auckland City because the New Zealanders withdrew. Al Ahly then defeated Al Duhail in the second round, while Tigres knocked out AFC champion Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea at this point.
Both Bayern and Palmeiras were left goodbye to the semi-finals.
Bayern last participated in the Club World Cup in 2013, when it was held in Morocco. They lifted the trophy, beating Raja Casablanca in the final as the home side only qualified as hosts and shocking Monterrey and Atletico Mineiro to pass the previous rounds.
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