Gianni Infantino risked a major rift with Europe’s leading federations by announcing that FIFA would launch a 32-team men’s Club World Cup in 2025.
In what amounts to an ambush for the English Premier League and its peers, Infantino confirmed the significant expansion of the tournament, which in its current annual edition sees seven teams competing. It was disclosed despite the lack of agreements with the relevant local federations.
The revamped event, as followed by Infantino, will be held every four years. It is understood that no formal proposals have been presented to the Premier League, whose position was set in November 2021 and has not changed. At the time, the league’s chief executive, Richard Masters, said it was “committed to preventing any drastic changes beyond 2024.” FIFA Calendar of international matches that would negatively affect player welfare and threaten the competitiveness, calendar, structures and traditions of domestic football. “
There is no indication at this stage of the likely venue for the tournament, which will require significant financial support. The expanded FIFA Club World Cup has always been a hobby horse for Infantino. in 2018 Propose a new 24-team event Which UEFA looked dimly at. she was To be held in China last year but was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Going into plan for a bigger event would raise eyebrows across Europe and put some key stakeholders in the sport on a collision course. It is inconceivable that Infantino’s plan will not include a large part of European teams. He also confirmed that there is a new plan for the Women’s Club World Cup.
This was the most striking statement made by the FIFA president at a press conference, which was organized in the run-up to Sunday world Cup The final in Doha, which focused on declaring victory before the core issues. Infantino revealed that this winter’s tournament has brought in $7.5 billion in revenue, more than $1 billion in budgeted revenue, and boasted of its “unique cohesive strength.” He offered little buy-in to questions about off-field issues that have overshadowed Qatar 2022 throughout, saying FIFA “stands up for human rights” and suggesting that figures on migrant worker deaths linked to the tournament have not been dealt with accurately.
Infantino also announced that a new “Football World Championship” of friendly tournaments, designed to pit teams from different continents against each other repeatedly, would be held in even-numbered years during the March international break. Again, the proposal was light on details and there would be further concerns about the additional impact on scheduling and players’ travel time.
There was an outbreak of common sense in a speech that asked far more questions than solutions. Infantino said FIFA would reconsider the group stage format of the expanded 2026 World Cup, a quarter-drama this year making it less likely that the next edition will feature 16 groups of three. He also said that from 2025, the international windows in September and October would be combined to create a single four-day break of matches. a The new Futsal Women’s World Cup It was also among the batch of new events introduced by Infantino.