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The organization decided that the new format of the contest will be played every four years, starting one year before the World Cup of Qatar 2022
The world of soccer shuddered in recent days for a couple of projects that have been around for a few months in FIFA, and that now could become a reality: a new Club World Cup and the possible increase of teams for the World Cup, which will take place in Qatar in 2022.
Leer en español: ¡Otra idea de la FIFA! Mundial de Clubes con 24 equipos
World Club, yes; Confederations Cup, no
The first big change that soccer will have has to do with the FIFA Club World Cup that began in 2000, in Brazil. This is organized since 2005 with the format that is known today. Before that, according to a FIFA file, the tournament was known as the Club World Championship and was played by only eight teams.
By 2021, the changes that will be seen go beyond the name of the competition. On March 15, the FIFA Council decided to establish a Club World Cup with 24 teams, every four years and during the months of June and July. According to the FIFA official website, the decision "was endorsed by 25 votes in favor and seven against."
"In the pilot edition in 2021, the 24 clubs will be divided into eight groups of three teams each, and the winner will be qualified for the quarterfinals that will be played in a direct elimination format," said the soccer organization.
Regarding the way in which the seats for each confederation will be established, Marca ensures that, as in the World Cup, UEFA (Europe) will be the one with the most representatives with eight clubs, followed by Conmebol (South America) with six, three for Concacaf (North America, Central America and the Caribbean), as well as for the AFC (Asia) and the CAF (Africa); and a single team from the OFC (Oceania).
Justicia deportiva: La CONMEBOL logró este viernes en Miami que el Consejo de la FIFA otorgue 6 plazas a clubes sudamericanos al crear el nuevo Mundial de Clubes que será disputado desde el 2021. Un reconocimiento a la grandeza del fútbol de Sudamérica. pic.twitter.com/Y2JDA4Nt6U— Alejandro Domínguez (@agdws) 15 de marzo de 2019
However, the most significant change that will be seen in the FIFA calendar, has to do with the cancellation of the Confederations Cup, a tournament that was budgeted to be played one year before the 2022 Qatar World Cup, as it has been since 1997. "This tournament will disappear, because since its implementation in 1997 it has not caught on among the fans nor has it been very profitable economically", El País explains.
It may interest you: Everything you need to know about the Club World Cup
A threat to the Champions League?
This new model of competition was contested by the disagreement of UEFA, even before the official announcement was made by FIFA. For the maximum organization of European soccer, this new Club World Cup represents an expletive for the Champions League, a tournament that is cataloged as the most important club in the world, and that was revolutionized by the current president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, in his time at the General Secretariat of UEFA (2009 -2016). According to El País, for UEFA officials, this Club World Cup would become "another enemy mouth", within a market that increasingly has to share the profits generated among more participants.
La Asociación de Clubes Europeos (ECA) ha enviado una carta a la #UEFA para subrayar que ninguno de sus 232 miembros está dispuesto a participar en el nuevo #MundialDeClubes que promueve el presidente de la #FIFA, Gianni #Infantino.@chris_cellilli pic.twitter.com/GaXTBau1Xw— Balón Mundial (@balon_mundial) 15 de marzo de 2019
With all this, Infantino does not give up and hopes that European clubs will surrender to the economic prizes that will be allocated, both for participating clubs (25 to 30 million euros) and for the winner (about 120 million euros). Sport says that Real Madrid has already confirmed its participation, taking into account that "the revenues are millionaires for such a short tournament."
As explained by the FIFA chief executive, "there are two weeks of tournament every four years", with two matches for the teams that are eliminated in the first round and a maximum of five for the participants that reach the final. In this way, the tournament would take place from June 17 to July 4, 2021.
World 2022, 48 teams?
Also, in the session held by the Council, it was decided to study the possibility that the next World Cup in 2022 becomes the first in history to cover 48 competing teams. At first, it was budgeted that the 2026 championship was the tournament in which the 16 nations would be added, however, "after having received a detailed feasibility study (...) the FIFA Council agreed (... ) provided that several neighboring countries host some World Cup matches (but Qatar is the main organizing country)," explains an official statement from FIFA. "The final decision will take place at the 69th Congress of FIFA, to be held on June 5 in Paris ", concludes the letter.
OFICIAL: El Consejo General de la FIFA aprueba que el Mundial de Catar 2022 pase de 32 a 48 selecciones participantes. Aún no está está confirmado, se tiene que aceptar la propuesta en junio, en el Congreso de París, tras ser consultadas todas las federaciones y confederaciones. pic.twitter.com/X5vKyu39eM— David De las Heras (@David_Heras) 15 de marzo de 2019
LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez
Translated from "!Otra idea de la FIFA! Mundial de Clubes con 24 equipos