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Liverpool face Club World Cup stadium change

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Qatar's Education City Stadium will not host matches during the FIFA Club World Cup this month after the official opening of the venue was postponed until early 2020, soccer's world governing body said on Saturday.

The change means Liverpool's two fixtures in the competition will take place at the Khalifa International stadium instead.

FIFA said the construction of the Education City Stadium was complete and the venue was operational, but the necessary certification processes took longer than expected and the stadium was unable to host test events at full capacity prior to the tournament.

The Education City Stadium was due to host three games in the Dec. 11-21 event, including a semifinal involving European champions Liverpool on Dec. 18, as well as the third-place playoff and the final.

The 45,416-capacity Khalifa International Stadium -- the home of Qatar's national team -- will now host those matches.

"The priority is to ensure an enjoyable experience for all fans, so it was decided to open the [Education City] stadium at a later date," FIFA said.

Meanwhile, Liverpool released their own statement, which read: "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." 

Liverpool's opening Club World Cup clash in Qatar on Dec. 18 takes place a day after the club's Carabao Cup tie against Aston Villa, forcing Jurgen Klopp to name two different squads across the fixtures.

The 23-man squad for the Club World Cup includes youngsters Neco Williams, Harvey Elliott, Rhian Brewster and Curtis Jones, with Liverpool set to play an inexperienced side against Villa, consisting of academy players.

Liverpool's under-23 coach Neil Critchley will manage the team that will play against Villa, while Klopp and his staff will travel with the first-team squad to Qatar.

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