FIFA has announced its approval of a new Club World Cup of 24 teams. The tournament will take place every 4 years from 2021. Despite having opposition from leading European clubs, the project has still gone ahead.
The first edition of the new 24 team format will be between the 17th June and the 4th July 2021, the host country is yet to be decided.
However, the Association of European Clubs (ECA) is opposed to this reformulation of the Club World Cup. The President of UEFA was the only one to vote against the the new format. Africa, Asia, Oceania, South America and Central America, North America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) voted in favor of this proposition.
The new format will contain the winners of the Champions League and Europa League for the last 4 seasons, whilst South America will have another 6 teams, and Africa, Asia and CONCACAF will have three each.
According to the Spanish newspaper ‘AS’, in the case of the same team being champions on several occasions during each 4 year period, its place will be taken by the next highest ranked team in its conference.
The 24 teams will be divided into 8 groups of 3 teams, with the 8 winners forming the Quarter-Finals. Fifa estimates that this new format could generate up to one billion euros in revenue. Two teams already involved in the new format are the great rivals, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, the winners of the Champions League and Europa League respectively in 2018.
Addition of teams to World Cup
FIFA has also approved the increase of the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams as soon as the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. However, the Organisation must first negotiate with the country to see if it will accept the addition of two more stadiums (in Kuwait and Oman) or if they can build two more in as little time as 30 months.
However, FIFA have also maintained that the competition will be competed over the same 28 days as with 32 teams, with the new format of 48 teams. This means that the same days of rest occur, allowing for the supposed increase of 350 million euros of revenue for FIFA.
The key problem with this supposed increase in teams is the expansion of quotas: Asia (8); Africa (9); CONCACAF (6); CONMEBOL (6); Oceania (1); and UEFA (16).
In this way, the African federation will double its prescence. Ahmad, the President of the African Confederation travelled to Miami to vote in favour of this proposition.Yet the change to the World Cup would mean a revolution with 16 groups instead of the current 8.