Gianni Infantino says FIFA will launch a new 32-team men’s Club World Cup beginning in 2025 and revealed they will ‘rediscuss’ the 2026 World Cup group stage format.
The new Club World Cup idea was initially meant to launch in China in 2021 with 24 groups however was cancelled due to the pandemic – and is now set for an extra growth from June 2025.
Meanwhile, the present World Cup format, in place since 1998 which sees 32 groups drawn into eight teams of 4, can be set to change on the expanded 48-team match in 4 years’ time with the FIFA Council selecting in 2017 for the nations to be cut up into 16 teams of three.
However, after the dramatic finale to the group levels in Qatar, Infantino, talking at a press convention for the primary time since his controversial speech on the eve of the match, revealed the group stage format may but change.
Infantino stated: “We have accepted a 48-team World Cup format with 16 teams of three, of which the highest two would then transfer to a knockout part of 32, adopted by 16, eight, 4 and then two.
“I’ve to say that after this World Cup and the success of the teams of 4, and wanting as effectively at another competitions just like the Euros for instance the place you may have 24 groups and the highest two plus the very best third ones go to the subsequent stage.
“Here, the groups of four have been absolutely incredible in the sense that until the last minute of the last match, you wouldn’t know who goes through. We will have to revisit or at least rediscuss the format – whether we go for 16 groups of three or 12 groups of four. This is something that will certainly be on the agenda in the next meetings.”
Infantino’s assessment of Qatar World Cup:
- Average attendance: 52,760
- Biggest attendance: 88,966 – Argentina vs Mexico
- 1.7m individuals attended FIFA fan pageant
- 62 matches up to now ‘with out incident’
- No workforce has received each sport and groups from all continents moved to the knockout stage for the primary time
- First time a lady refereed a match – Stephanie Frappart – Germany vs Costa Rica
- First time an African nations on the semi-finals – Morocco
- Viewing and viewers figures to be introduced after ultimate however ‘approaching 5bn mark’
Carragher: European golf equipment ought to boycott new Club World Cup
Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher believes over-used gamers are being “treated like cattle” and European golf equipment ought to boycott the new Club World Cup format.
He tweeted: “Like the ridiculous idea of the World Cup every two years, this is another one from Infantino.
“Players want relaxation in some unspecified time in the future, they’re getting handled like cattle. FIFA hate the Champions League & need one thing related themselves. European golf equipment ought to boycott it.”
Premier League yet to see FIFA plans
The Premier League have not seen any formal proposals from FIFA about the expanded Club World Cup in 2025 or an expanded 2026 men’s World Cup.
The Premier League are open to continuing engagement with FIFA, via the World League’s Forum, to ensure there are no radical changes to the international calendar that will affect the domestic league structure and player welfare.
They are expecting meaningful agreements to be reached with the leagues before anything is signed-off.
FIFA’s new plans for football
Infantino, who branded the Qatar World Cup as the “finest ever”, revealed a number of decisions following a FIFA council meeting, including plans to launch a new friendly ‘World Series’ tournament to take place in even years involving four teams, each selected from four different confederations.
The FIFA president confirmed the 2022 Club World Cup will be held in Morocco from February 1 to 11 next year and will feature seven teams, including Real Madrid as European champions. The larger competition, set for 2025, will take place every four years.
FIFA Football Agent Regulations accepted
The FIFA Council accepted the FIFA Football Agent Regulations, which search to introduce primary service requirements for soccer brokers and their purchasers, together with a compulsory licensing system, the prohibition of a number of illustration to keep away from conflicts of curiosity and the introduction of a cap on commissions, whose goal is to reinforce contractual stability, defend the integrity of the switch system and obtain larger monetary transparency.
The worldwide match calendar will even be altered from 2025, with one prolonged break spanning 4 matches in late September and early October changing two separate home windows in September and October. The different home windows in November, March and June would stay unchanged.
The hosts for the men’s World Cup in 2030 will be determined in 2024 and the Women’s World Cup for 2031 will be determined in 2025. Infantino introduced a need to create a new ladies’s Club World Cup, a new Futsal Women’s World Cup and develop the Olympic Games Women’s match from 12 to 16 groups.
Infantino’s lengthy FIFA reign
Infantino additionally confirmed his intention to keep on as president till 2031 by looking for a 3rd full time period when he’s re-elected for a second four-year stint subsequent March. FIFA confirmed Infantino’s spell in cost between 2016 and 2019 – when he accomplished an unfinished time period began by Sepp Blatter – doesn’t rely as a time period of workplace towards the 12-year restrict. It will imply Infantino would have been in control of FIFA for 15 years if he stays till 2031.
The proposals additionally embrace revising FIFA’s youth match stock – together with expanded annual Under-17 tournaments, each for boys and women.
How will the 32-team Club World Cup work?
FIFA president Gianni Infantino:
“The details of the location still need to be discussed but it has been agreed and decided that a 32-team Club World Cup tournament will go ahead making it like a World Cup.
“I do not know what the British press says or would not say, however I do know what we have determined and that’s that there will be a Club World Cup of 32 groups to be performed each 4 years and the primary version will happen in 2025 in the summertime.
“During that slot where in other years it would be the Confederations Cup, it will be slightly longer because there are 32 teams so it will last a bit longer but they will be the best teams in the world who will all be invited to participate.
“But all the particulars will be developed in the end and we will determine the place it will happen as effectively over the subsequent few weeks or months in session with all the stakeholders.
“The FIFA Council has taken the decision now as a matter of principle to hold that Club World Cup. Don’t forget that we were the only football organisation in the world, at least at international level, not to have organised a competition during the pandemic.
“Everyone else postponed their competitions however then shortened them or performed them [at a later date] however we had a Club World Cup deliberate in 2020 with 24 groups that was cancelled. It wasn’t changed or postponed, and we did that as a result of we needed to permit for the Copa America, the European Championships and we needed to defend the well being and well-being of gamers.
“We didn’t want to over-burden the calendar. That brings me to another issue and allows me to underscore that when we talk about the [FIFA] product over the next four years, the Club World Cup is not included in that $11bn forecast. That forecast is without taking into account this Club World Cup. So I think we’re going to have an even greater sum that we’ll be able to invest in world football over the next four years.”
‘European golf equipment don’t need to be enjoying extra video games’
Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol in Qatar:
“FIFA have decided to press ahead with plans to have an expanded Club World Cup in 2025. Infantino says it’s going to be the best teams from around the world and he says it’s going to be just like this World Cup but instead of having countries, you’re going to have clubs. It is going to be controversial, because if you look at the match calendar, how are you going to fit all these games in?
“How are you going to slot in a new match and a new competitors for golf equipment? We’ve heard from Premier League managers and managers of different European golf equipment as effectively who’ve stated they’re towards this, and by and giant, a lot of the European golf equipment are towards it in addition to they do not need to be enjoying extra video games.
“But, of course, business is business and I think if they were offered enough prize money to take part in this new FIFA competition then I’m sure that would change their minds. In terms of where this first Club World Cup is likely to be, the early indication we’re getting from FIFA is that they would like it to be in the United States.
“The subsequent World Cup in 2026 goes to be in Canada, Mexico and the United States and if the Club World Cup does go forward I believe it is possible to be within the USA. UEFA and European golf equipment are towards it, however so far as Gianni Infantino is anxious that does not matter.
“The major problem FIFA have is the bulk of their revenue comes from the World Cup and that only happens every four years. So what they want is another competition – something like the Champions League – which will get more money coming into their coffers.”
‘FIFA’s unilateral choices on the calendar damaging for soccer trade’
An announcement from The World Leagues Forum (WLF), stated: “The World Leagues Forum (WLF), the world association of professional football leagues, has been informed that the FIFA Council has today made significant decisions about the international match calendar that could have damaging consequences for the football economy and player welfare.
“These choices have been made unilaterally with out consulting, not to mention agreeing, with those that are instantly affected by them: the leagues, their member golf equipment, the gamers and followers.
“FIFA announced a 32-team Club World Cup in 2025 and decided key principles for the new International Match Calendar post-2024. FIFA also announced its intention to review the men’s World Cup format in 2026 to potentially include significantly more games with groups of 4 teams instead of 3 as initially agreed.
“As the calendar is already overloaded, with longstanding home membership competitions and ever-expanding worldwide competitions, FIFA’s resolution creates the chance of fixture congestion, additional participant accidents and a distortion of aggressive steadiness.
“The interests of the football community, which we expect FIFA to take care of, are not best-served by piling-up FIFA-owned matches which only involve the top 1% of players. Instead, we should all expect FIFA to create the environment for a complementary balance between domestic and international football for the benefit of the whole game.
“The WLF is contacting FIFA to ask for a clear course of for his or her calendar and competitors choices, which should contain significant agreements with the leagues.
“We will convene a board meeting in January to review FIFA’s response and assess the impact their proposals could have on the foundations of the game at domestic level.”