FIFA president, Gianni Infantino has revealed plans for a new 32-team men’s Club World Cup to begin in 2025.
Originally set to launch in 2021 as a 24-team tournament in China but delayed thanks to the pandemic, the tournament will now host 32 teams from all over the world.
Speaking to reporters, Infantino said,
“As you will remember, we had agreed a few years ago to have a new men’s Club World Cup with 24 teams. This should have taken place in 2021 [but] was postponed because of Covid. The new men’s Club World Cup will therefore take place in 2025 and will feature 32 teams, the best teams in the world. Of course, the details of that still need to be discussed and agreed, but the 32-team tournament will go ahead, making it really like a World Cup.”
The FIFA President also announced that the current structure of the World Cup was set to change. Instead of 32 teams, the FIFA World Cup will feature 48 teams starting from 2026 with the teams split into 16 groups of three. However, he added that the group structure might still change in the next four years.
Infantino said, “We have approved a 48-team World Cup format with 16 groups of three, of which the top two would then move to a knockout phase of 32, followed by 16, eight, four and then two.
“I have to say that after this World Cup and the success of the groups of four, and looking as well at some other competitions like the Euros for example where you have 24 teams and the top two plus the best third ones go to the next 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.”