Opinion: They Want More Games: FIFA Announces Its New Format for the Club World Cup

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FIFA made official the change of format of the Club World Cup, a decision that did not go down well with all football fans.

Club World Cup

Photo: Latin American Post

LatinAmerican Post | Daniel González Guerrero

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Leer en español: Opinión: Quieren más partidos: la FIFA anuncia su nuevo formato para el Mundial de Clubes

For several years, FIFA made clear its position of change for world football, an aspect that generated new tournament formats, which are designed solely to further enrich the managers of the entity that regulates this sport. The last big movement occurred in the Club World Cup, a competition that brings together the best teams from each continent once a year.

With this change in format, FIFA once again demonstrates its business idea, in which they focus on generating a greater number of matches and put aside the health of professional players. These have been claiming for numerous years about the calendars in the seasons, an aspect that seems to matter little to soccer managers.

Equality as a Smokescreen

Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, made official the change of format for the Club World Cup, a competition that will include the participation of 32 teams and will be held every 4 years. Thus, it will become a world championship, but with teams from the best leagues. In his message, the manager commented, as is customary, the intention to end inequality, which is considered a smokescreen to have more parties in the different competitions.

Since his arrival at FIFA, Infantino demonstrated his tycoon face, which focuses solely on generating a greater amount of money per competition. In his petty speech, the manager commented “In some parts of the world there are always many parties and in other places there are not enough. We have to connect to the world and give opportunities to national teams or teams from other parts of the world so that they can compete with the best”.

Despite this discourse on a perfect world in sport, reality points to the opposite. Infantino made it clear that the intention with this competition is to end inequality, however, his own actions contradict his speech. In the new format, Europe will have 12 places, CONMEBOL with 6; CONCACAF, the Asian Football Confederation and the African Football Confederation with 4; and the Oceania Football Confederation with just 1.

You can also read: Gold Cup: the Teams and Players to Follow from the Highest Soccer Competition in Concacaf

With this distribution of quotas, it is made clear that FIFA's intention is totally different from ending inequality. There is an increasingly marked trend against football that is not part of the elite of the old continent.

Sold to the Highest Bidder

The United States in recent years has taken over the most important soccer competitions. By the year 2024, the North American country will once again host the Copa América, a competition that should not even include the participation of this country, remembering that this championship is only for Latin American countries. Despite this, for the amount of money offered by holding this tournament in this part of the world, the essence of the tournament is left aside.

By the year 2026, the United States, together with Canada and Mexico, will host the Senior Men's World Cup. This will be the second world championship that will take place in the North American country, an aspect that few countries have had the luxury of having. Now the icing on the cake will be in the year 2025, in which this nation will host the first edition of this new Club World Cup.

To put an end to the controversy, Infantino commented that the United States was chosen as the venue for the quality of its stadiums. “The 2025 World Cup will be the most outstanding event for the elite of professional men's club soccer. The United States already has the required infrastructure and enormous interest throughout the country, making it the ideal host to host the first edition of this new competition, which is part of our mission to achieve truly global soccer.”

A Sport for the Poor Stolen by the Rich

With all these changes in recent years, soccer continues to transform into a promising business, which seems to have no bottom and which increasingly alienates all its fans. This is why it is important to bring up the phrase that the writer Eduardo Galeano once said, "As sport has become an industry, it has banished the beauty that is born from the joy of playing just because."

For now, there are few options that fans have to reverse this situation, so we must constantly adapt to the changes that are supposedly made for the growth of the sport. However, we are all aware that the only growth that currently matters is that of the leaders' pockets.