president Gianni Infantino has confirmed the inaugural 32-team Club will take place in 2025.
The already packed football calendar will have to accomodate a new competition that was initially due to take place in 2021 in China, but was abandoned due to the Covid pandemic.
Infantino failed to elaborate on which teams would be involved but insisted FIFA was ready to capitalise on the ever increasing popularity of the sport, highlighted by, in his words, the most successful World Cup ever in .
‘When it comes to the council meeting, we could confirm revenues of this four-year cycle – 7.5 billion,’ said Infantino.
‘Looking forward, the FIFA Council approved the budget for the next four year cycle, which will be eleven billion and almost 10 billion will go directly back to football.
‘We discussed some strategic principles. For the men, we agreed to have a new men’s Club World Cup, this will happen in 2025 and will have 32 teams, making it like this World Cup.
‘We had a Club World Cup planned in 2020 with 24 teams. It wasn’t replaced or postponed. We did that to allow for the Copa America and the Euros and protect the health and well-being of players and not overburden the calendar.’
In order to ease the burden on footballers in the coming years, Infantino confirmed the usual September and October international windows will be combined so nations play four games across late September and early October, rather than two in each.
‘We have seen the importance of teams from different continents happening more regularly,’ said Infantino.
‘We want to use the March windows in even years to organise friendly tournaments between four teams of four different confederations under the Fifa umbrella – Fifa World Series events.
‘For women’s football, it will be very similar. We want to create a new women’s Club World Cup and a new Fifa Futsal Women’s World Cup every four years.
‘We would like to see if the women’s Olympic tournament can have 16 teams like the men’s does.’
On protecting the welfare of players, he added: ‘A very important element is we have to take into consideration is the health and well-being of players hence four-game window, rather than two-game windows. We need to make sure there is a rest period for the players.
‘We will consult on these topics and elaborate.’
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