Football: Auckland City forced to withdraw from FIFA Club World Cup over MIQ woes

Auckland City FC have withdrawn from the FIFA Club World Cup for the second year in a row, citing COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Held in Qatar, New Zealand's strict Managed Isolation Quarantine (MIQ) system and its impact on international travel has seen Auckland City forced to withdraw, the club says.

"We're obviously bitterly disappointed that circumstances have put participation beyond our reach for the second year in a row," club president Ivan Vuksich says.

"A lot of hard work and effort went into preparing to compete in the UAE, so to be unable to go is a blow."

This is the second year in a row that Auckland City has been forced to pull out of the competition that sees the winner of every FIFA Confederation's Champions League tournament face off.

The club will miss out on a six-figure sum of guaranteed prize money, and potentially risk further financial punishment from FIFA.

The Kiwi side faced a blockbuster clash against current European champions, English side Chelsea.

In Auckland City's place, Tahitian side AS Pirae will represent Oceania at the seven-team tournament, starting in February.