DOHA – FIFA President Gianni Infantino outlined plans on Friday for a 32-team Club World Cup to begin in 2025, despite alleged opposition from the top clubs in Europe.
The competition’s expansion has long been one of Infantino’s pet projects and according to the FIFA boss, the new-look competition will be considerably greater than anticipated.
A 24-team competition in China in 2021 that would have included eight European teams was postponed owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
The outspoken FIFA president stated at the World Cup in Doha on Friday that a new 24-team men’s Club World Cup was something that had been agreed upon a few years prior.
“It was delayed because of COVID and was supposed to happen in 2021. The new competition, which would feature 32 teams and take place in 2025, will be extremely similar to a World Cup.”
Instead of annually, as is the case for the present seven-team event, an expanded tournament will be held every four years.
The inaugural event will take place in the summer of 2025, replacing the Confederations Cup that year.
There will be 32 teams, but only the best teams in the world will be invited to play according to the FIFA chief and as such it will take a little longer.
This week, reports in the British media said that European clubs had rejected FIFA’s suggestion to start the competition with a new design.