FIFA announced on Sunday that its revamped Club World Cup, to be held for the first time in 2025, will feature 32 teams and will be played from mid-June to mid-July.
Following are the details of how the tournament will work:
– The United States will host the 2025 edition of the expanded event, which will be held every four years thereafter.
– The tournament will have eight groups of four with the top two teams from each group going through to the knockout stages — the same format as the World Cup.
– The current version of the FIFA Club World Cup – an annual competition with seven teams – will be discontinued after the tournament now being hosted by Saudi Arabia.
– Europe will have 12 teams in the new competition and South America will have six, while Africa, Asia and North America will have four each. Oceania has one slot, while the final slot will be allocated to a club from the host country.
CLUB RANKING AND QUALIFICATION
– Clubs will be ranked based on sporting criteria over four seasons to secure qualification for the Club World Cup.
– Teams will get three points for a win, one point for a draw and three points for progress to each stage of their confederation’s premier competition.
– In Europe, UEFA’s club coefficients system will be used, with teams getting two points for a win, one point for a draw, four points for qualification for the group stage, five points for qualification for the last 16 and one point for progress to each stage of the competition thereafter.
– Confederation champions from 2021- 2024 will be eligible to play in the new Club World Cup, meaning Chelsea, Real Madrid and last season’s Champions League winners Manchester City have qualified from Europe.
– The other European teams who have qualified based on the points system are Bayern Munich, Paris St Germain, Inter Milan, FC Porto and Benfica.
– Only two teams from one country can qualify for the tournament unless they win the continental competition. For example, since Chelsea and City have qualified from England, Arsenal can qualify only if they win the Champions League this season.
– From South America, Brazilian sides Palmeiras, Flamengo and Fluminense have qualified as Copa Libertadores champions, while Asian sides Al Hilal and Urawa Red Diamonds are also through.
– Al Ahly and Wydad have similarly qualified from Africa while Monterrey, Seattle Sounders and Club Leon are through from North America.
– Oceania’s Auckland City have sealed progress with no other team in position to overtake their points tally.