FIFA president Gianni Infantino has announced a new 32-team Club World Cup which will replicate the international tournament in a move that is sure to divide fans.
A new 32-team Club World Cup which will replicate the international tournament has been announced by FIFA president Gianni Infantino at his closing press conference in Qatar.
The new event will get underway in 2025 with the same amount of teams as the 2022 World Cup – four years after the initial 24-team plan was scrapped due to the pandemic.
A Women’s Club World Cup will also be launched, with no further details offered, with the 2022 Club World Cup also confirmed to be held in Morocco in February of 2023 with seven teams which had become the norm.
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The Club World Cup was founded back in 2000 by FIFA and has been contested by seven teams in 14 of the last 15 seasons with the Champions League winners entering at the semi-final stage.
It is contested by the winners of the Asian AFC Champions League, African CAF Champions League, North, Central America and Caribbean CONCACAF Champions League, South American CONMEBOL Libertadores, Oceania’s OFC Champions League and UEFA Champions League winners of the previous season – as well as the reigning national champions of the host nation.
Shortly before Infantino’s announcement, the Mail reported that Europe’s elite clubs rejected a proposal for the expansion.
The report added that FIFA could offer £150milllion in prize money as an incentive, having also planned to host a tournament in the United States.
Three English clubs have been crowned Club World Champions since the tournament begun, with Manchester United in 2008, Liverpool in 2019 and Chelsea last year.
Another FIFA plan that has been slammed was their desire to have 16 groups of three teams at the 2026 World Cup which is being hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico in a joint bid.
It would mean that 16 teams would only play two games at the tournament with an extra knock-out round added, with FIFA now holding talks about sticking with four team groups.
Among their idea was also to have penalty shoot outs after drawn group stage matches to ensure there were no drawn games.
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