(adds Blatter quotes)
By Julian Linden
SYDNEY, May 27 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates has won the right to host FIFA’s World Club Cup in 2009 and 2010 after beating off rival bids from Japan and Australia.
FIFA’s executive board agreed to move the tournament, which features the champions of each of the continental confederations, from Japan, where it has been held since 2005.
“We wanted to bring the Club World Cup to other countries. To play it in the UAE will be beneficial from a marketing standpoint,” FIFA president Sepp Blatter told a news conference in Sydney.
“And the fact that they pledged $5 million for grassroots development helped their case.”
Japan were given some consolation for their loss when they awarded the tournament in 2011 and 2012 while Australia, which had been hoping to use the event to boost their chances of staging the World Cup in 2018, were overlooked altogether.
“Australia presented an exceptional bid but one of the reasons we could not consider Australia was because of time constraints,” Blatter added.
“But I can assure Australia that when bidding for the World Cup comes around, distances will not come into consideration.”
Blatter also left the door open for European nations to bid in future.
“Although club football is already so crowded in Europe, I wouldn’t rule out hosting it there at some stage,” he said.
Despite missing out, Football Federation Australia (FFA) chief executive Ben Buckley said the experience would be useful in helping the country bid for the World Cup.
“We want to be a strong and positive contributor to the world of football in as many ways as possible,” Buckley said in a statement.
”Major events can have a positive legacy for the growth and development of football in Australia, as well as our region, and that is why we are pursuing them.
“This week’s FIFA Congress is part of that strategy, as is the 2015 Asian Cup.”
The FIFA executive committee also announced they had awarded the 2010 women’s Under-17 World Cup to Trinidad and Tobago, the 2011 men’s Under-17 World Cup to Mexico and the 2011 Under-20 World Cup to Colombia. (Editing by John O‘Brien)