Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, announced this Friday in Doha (Qatar) the celebration of the Club World Cup with 32 teams from 2025, an appointment that will be held every four years.
The new competition has been agreed after a meeting of the FIFA council held today in the Qatari capital, where the final of the World Championship between Argentina and France will be played on Sunday.
The Club World Cup will thus replace the old Confederations Cup, where the six champions of each confederation were measured.
“A few years ago we decided on a new men's tournament, a club cup that was going to start in 2021, but was not held due to covid.
It will start in 2025, with 32 teams, the best in the world.
That window, which in the past was for the Confederations Cup, will last a little longer, of course, because there are 32 teams.
All the details are going to be discussed and finalized in the coming weeks”, assured Infantino.
The FIFA president justifies the creation of this new tournament on the need to continue promoting soccer worldwide so that it becomes the most followed sport.
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On the other hand, Infantino announced the income for this last four-year cycle and the budget for the next four.
“We can confirm revenue of 7.5 billion euros, one billion more than we had budgeted.
And it is great news considering that this has been a cycle affected by the pandemic, ”he said.
And he continued: “The FIFA council has also approved the budget for the next cycle, 11,000 million.
They are 6,400 plus the previous one.
Of those, 10,000 million will revert directly to football”.
They pointed out that this was a 50% increase and asked if he could detail the main factors behind that increase.
“We are bullish on this, on the power of soccer and what we think is the impact of soccer.
Rather than bullish [he asked twice if that word has a negative connotation], we move out of conviction,” he replied.
And he made reference to the 2026 World Cup that will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
“There will be more teams , more games, more income.
Five and a half million fans are expected.
Soccer is going to explode in North America in 2026 ″, he added while confirming that the 2025 Club World Cup does not fall within that budget.
He also spoke about what he believes is the legacy left by this World Cup, a legacy that goes beyond football.
He celebrated that there have been no incidents between hobbies and that people, he said, have lived in harmony during this month.
“The transformative legacy of this World Cup is in the fact that many people from all over the world have come to Qatar and have discovered the Arab world, which they did not know or knew only from how they had been told about it.
At the same time, the Qataris have prepared to welcome everyone from all those places.
Everyone has discovered that what was said and thought is not true, that you can have a good time, that you can get to know each other”.
And he insisted: “One of our main concerns before the tournament began was related to security.
We weren't sure how the people would react, the fans, if there were going to be fights or not.
We have seen that human beings are fundamentally positive and good beings.
People have come together, the more international dimension the better”.
A Swedish journalist pointed out to him that he repeated words of union and legacy over and over again, but that FIFA decided to prohibit captains from wearing OneLove bracelets in support of the LGTBI collective.
This is how Infantino answered.
“As FIFA we must take care of everyone, we don't have to discriminate against anyone because we are a global organization with 211 federations, we all have to go to one.
When we talk about regulations or prohibition, it is not about prohibiting or not, but about respecting the regulations: football is played on a football field.
On the pitch you have to respect football, that's why those regulations are there.
Off the field, everyone can express what they consider.
But inside, let's just talk about football."
Finally, he assured that everything FIFA could do to improve the protection and health of workers was done.
“Everything that was in our hands was done and for the future, we are working on it.
We are about to reach an agreement with the International Labor Organization to anchor this issue for the future.”
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