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FIFA risk trouble after agreeing new Club World Cup

March 16, 2019

There will be a change to the current Club World Cup structure, sooner rather than later too. The decision to expand the competition to include 24 teams has not gone down well with Europe's elite.

Gianni Infantino
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/A. Filippov

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said on Friday that the football's governing body will go ahead with a new 24-team Club World Cup from 2021 onwards, despite opposition from Europe's elite.

The current seven-team tournament, played every winter but is not particularly popular amongst European football fans, will be replaced by a more lucrative tournament every fourth summer - filling in the spot previously resevered for the Confederations Cup.

The decision has upset the European Club Association (ECA), UEFA and the world players' union, FIFPro, with the trio stating the decision has been made without consideration for the already congested calendar.

In the 24-team tournament, FIFA President wants eight from Europe, six from South America, three from Africa, Asia and the Concacaf and one from Oceania.

This is not the only major decision FIFA are considering. Infantino is keen to expand the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from 32 teams to 48, a decision which would require at least two more stadiums in at least one additional country.

Recognising that he needed more time to gain the approval he needs, the FIFA President has opted to wait until the FIFA's annual congress on June 5 before making the final decision. In January 2017, the decision to have a 48-team tournament was made but only starting in 2026 before the hosts were chosen. The United States, Canada and Mexico won a vote last year to host the 2026 World Cup.

FIFA also recently approved that video review would be made available for the Women's World Cup this summer. No domestic women's competition uses VAR.

jh/mp (Reuters, AP)

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