FIFA Officially Announces New 32-Teams Club World Cup Format

FIFA announces a brand new 32-Teams Club World Cup format to take form starting from 2025 – Chelsea and Manchester City among the competing candidates

FIFA 32 Team Club World Cup Format Update

FIFA 32 Team Club World Cup Format Update: At the FIFA assembly in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Gianni Infantino solemnly unveiled the new Club World Cup format – set to take shape in 2025 with the US said to be the hosts of its inaugural cup clash. There seems to be a certain degree of buzz and excitement around this novel concept but has also been struck with a heavy wave of criticism. Let’s briefly dissect it:

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FIFA 32 Team Club World Cup Format Update

The new tournament will slot up to 32 teams from all six confederations, with 12 from UEFA. Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Manchester City have automatically secured their entrances as the most recent winners in the four-year cycle. However, Liverpool and Manchester United have been locked out from competing in this tournament. Arsenal, on the other hand, can still compete in the Club World Cup granted they win the Champions League this year.

Other Teams Taking Part

Paris Saint Germain, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Inter Milan, and Porto have all qualified for the Club World Cup based on their performances and coefficient rankings. Arsenal, Real Sociedad, PSV Eindhoven, and Copenhagen would need to win the Champions League to take part in order to qualify. The other three to four slots will be salvaged between Barcelona, Juventus, Lazio, Napoli, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Atletico Madrid and RB Salzburg.

The other confederations also look stacked and ready to compete. The previous three South American Champions from Brazil, Palmeiras, Flamengo, and Fluminese are set to join the battles along with Al Hilal and Urawa Red Diamonds from Asia. From Africa, we have Al Ahly and Wydad Casablanca as candidates whereas from North America, Seattle Sounders, Monterrey and Club Leon will be unsheathing their swords in the refurbished Club World Cup.

Criticisms hurled at the new Club World Cup

The tournament has been scheduled to take place in mid-June 2025 and will stretch for over a month. This has raised serious concerns over an increment in the players’ workload causing physical distress, exacerbation of injuries, brief rest phases, and mental exhaustion from 11-month-long footballing action.

Professional Footballers’ Association CEO, Maheta Molango was livid with FIFA’s announcement as he had the following to say:

“The decision to push ahead with yet another expanded summer tournament – adding more and more games to a fixture list that is already at bursting point – just confirms that any expression of concern for player welfare is merely a pretence.

“Ultimately, players have become pawns in a battle for primacy between football’s governing bodies, with no one willing to take a step back or to work collaboratively to create a sustainable calendar.

FIFPRO also voiced their concerns over the negligence of players’ safety and health. In an official statement posted by them, they said:

“The expanded competition will undercut the rest and recovery time of these players at the end of the 2024-25 season, and further disrupt national employment markets by changing the balance between national and international competitions. Players will have to perform at the end of an 11-month season with little prospect of getting enough rest before the following season starts.

“The extreme mental and physical pressures at the pinnacle of the game is the principal concern of players with multiple club and national team competitions, leading to exhaustion, physical injuries, mental health issues, diminished performance, and risks to career longevity. They have repeatedly voiced concerns about mounting workload to their national player unions.

“However, once again, decisions to scale competitions have been introduced without implementing appropriate safeguards, and without any say from the players who are at the forefront of driving the game’s popularity and revenue generation with their skill and endeavour. Unfortunately, FIFA’s announcement in March 2023 for a working group on player welfare principles has seen no follow-up and requests by FIFPRO to launch this process have gone unanswered.

Consequently, FIFA’s current process to address the global issue of the match calendar has not only excluded the player unions on the future format of competitions but has ignored the voice of players when it comes to their own health, well-being, and performance. As a matter of urgency, FIFPRO is calling for FIFA to facilitate discussions with all football stakeholders about the introduction of a basic set of player health and safety regulations to support the welfare of professional footballers.”

Will the Club World Cup be rescheduled?

Given the outcry following the announcement, it is very likely that the decision to hold the tournament in the summer of 2025 may just be overturned. However, the ultimate decision is FIFA’s to make.

Do you think the Club World Cup will be rescheduled?

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