Gianni Infantino announces the 32-team Men’s Club World Cup in 2025 | Club World Cup

Gianni Infantino has risked a major dispute with Europe’s top federations by announcing that FIFA will launch a 32-team Men’s Club World Cup in 2025.

In what amounts to an ambush on the Premier League and its counterparts, the fifa The president confirmed the drastic expansion of a tournament whose current annual iteration sees seven teams compete. The disclosure of him was made despite the fact that no agreements have been made with the corresponding national leagues.

The revamped event will take place every four years, as anticipated by Infantino. It is understood that no formal proposals have been made to the Premier League, whose stance was set in November 2021 and remains unchanged. At the time, the league’s chief executive, Richard Masters, said he was “committed to preventing any radical changes to FIFA’s international match schedule post-2024 that would negatively affect player welfare and threaten competitiveness, the calendar, structures and traditions of national football”.

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This is a World Cup like no other. For the past 12 years, The Guardian has been reporting on issues related to Qatar 2022, from corruption and human rights abuses to the treatment of migrant workers and discriminatory laws. The best of our journalism is gathered in our dedicated Qatar: beyond football home page for those who want to delve into topics beyond the pitch.

The Guardian’s reporting goes far beyond what happens on the pitch. Support our investigative journalism This day.

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There are no indications at this stage as to the likely venue for a tournament that will require significant financial backing. An expanded Club World Cup has long been an Infantino workhorse. in 2018 proposed a new 24-team event that was seen with reluctance by Uefa; it was scheduled to take place in China last year, but it was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Going ahead with a plan for an even bigger event will turn heads across Europe and put some of the sport’s key stakeholders on a collision course. It is inconceivable that Infantino’s plan does not involve a bulk of European teams. He also confirmed that a new Women’s Club World Cup is being planned.

Infantino’s announcement was his most striking statement at a news conference, held in the run-up to Sunday’s. World Cup final in Doha, which revealed that this winter’s tournament had generated $7.5bn in revenue, $1bn more than budgeted, and boasted of its “unique cohesive power”. The president offered few answers to questions about the off-pitch problems that have shadowed Qatar 2022, saying FIFA is “standing up for human rights” and suggesting that figures on tournament-related deaths of migrant workers have not been released. used accurately.

He also announced that a new “FIFA World Series” of friendly tournaments, designed to pit teams from different continents against each other more frequently, will take place in even-numbered years during the March international break.

The proposal was light on details, but is likely to raise further concerns about its additional impact on existing programming and player travel time.

There were flashes of common sense in a speech that otherwise raised far more questions than answers. Infantino said FIFA will reconsider the group stage format in the expanded World Cup in 2026, the drama of this year’s quarterfinals reducing the likelihood that the next edition will comprise 16 groups of three. He also said that starting in 2025, the September and October international windows will be merged to create a four-day long break. A new women’s futsal world cup it was also among the series of new events that Infantino introduced.

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