FIFA to launch new Club World Cup format with 32 teams;- FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced on Friday the introduction of a new 32-team men’s Club World Cup to launch in June 2025.
Infantino stated during his final press conference at the World Cup in Qatar that the FIFA Council had resolved to replace the 24-team competition that was originally scheduled for 2021 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic during a meeting earlier in the day.
FIFA to launch new Club World Cup format with 32 teams in 2025
Seven teams compete in the Club World Cup, the most recent edition of which saw Chelsea defeat Palmeiras in Abu Dhabi in February.
Infantino stated that the inaugural event would occur in the summer of 2025. “The Confederations Cup will take place within that time period, however it will go a little longer because 32 teams are participating. FIFA to launch new Club World Cup format
“But they will be the world’s top teams. They will be requested to take part. The specifics will be worked out in due course, and we’ll choose the location in the coming weeks or months after consulting with all of the interested parties.
“Of course, those specifics still need to be worked out and agreed upon, but the 32-team tournament will carry on, making it truly comparable to the World Cup.”
“FIFA Council has decided to hold that Club World Cup right now as a matter of principle. But keep in mind that we were, I believe, the only football organization in the world to not have had the competition during the epidemic at the international level.
We prepared a Club World Cup with 24 teams for 2020 while everyone else delayed, shortened, and played their competitions. That was dropped. It wasn’t cancelled or delayed. FIFA to launch new Club World Cup format
FIFPRO, the world’s largest union of professional football players, disagreed with the choice.
“FIFPRO took note with surprise of today’s decisions by the FIFA Council concerning the international match calendars for men’s and women’s football,” the organization said in a statement. “These decisions could have serious consequences for and aggravate pressure on the welfare and employment of players.” FIFA to launch new Club World Cup format
“Despite the agreement FIFPRO and FIFA reached last week that the international match calendar would be jointly negotiated prior to the FIFA Congress in March 2023, these choices were taken unilaterally without seriously considering, much less approving with, the players,” said FIFPRO.
The announcement was criticized by the World Leagues Forum (WLF), a group that advocates for professional association football leagues, claiming that it would have negative effects on player welfare and the football industry’s profitability.
“The decision by FIFA poses the possibility of fixture congestion, increased player injuries, and a distortion of competitive balance,” it said in a statement. “The calendar is already overloaded, with long-standing local club competitions and ever-expanding international competitions.” FIFA to launch new Club World Cup format
The following Club World Cup, which will feature the customary seven-team competition, will be held in Morocco from February 1–11, 2023, it was also revealed on Friday.
A women’s Club World Cup and a brand-new friendly competition called the “FIFA World Series” were also announced by FIFA. The March international window will now feature “teams from different confederations playing each other,” while the September and October international windows will be combined into a single, four-game stretch. FIFA to launch new Club World Cup format
The company reported $7.5 billion in revenue, and Infantino anticipates growth to $11 billion as he looks ahead to a new four-year cycle that will culminate with the 2026 World Cup in North America.
Infantino continued, “We are sure of football’s potency. “We are certain that football will overtake all other sports in popularity in North America. We are confident in the strength of our game, even if it is initially the number two position. The more money we make, the more money we can put back into the game.
“North America will experience tremendous things. The event is being organized by three enormous nations: Mexico, the United States, and Canada. More games will be played with 48 teams instead of 32, increasing revenue from TV, sponsorship, ticket sales, and hospitality.
We will play in large venues in North America, so let’s not forget that. stadiums used for American football, such as 80,000 and 90,000. Nearly the smallest capacity is 70,000, yet there are still plenty of fan attractions.
“We anticipate that five million, five and a half million supporters would come from outside the country just for these events. And we are confident that North American football will flourish because we will begin working right away starting on December 19 for that World Cup when it comes around. FIFA to launch new Club World Cup format
Infantino said that FIFA’s decision to use 16 groups of three teams for the 2026 World Cup, which will have 48 teams for the first time after 32 teams, may be changed.
“We have approved a 48-team system with 16 groups of three teams, with the top two moving to the knockout phase of 32 teams, followed by 16, 8, 4, and 2,” he stated. FIFA to launch new Club World Cup format
“I have to say that after this World Cup and the success of the four-team groups, and taking a look at some other competitions like the Euros for example, where there are 24 teams and the top two plus the best third ones advance to the next group stage, here the groups have been absolutely incredible in the sense that you don’t know who goes ahead until the very last minute of the last match, I have to say that.
Whether we use 16 groups of three or 12 groups of four, I believe we need to review or at least rediscuss the format. This will be on the agenda in the upcoming meetings.