United States to stage first edition of revamped Club World Cup

Featured image credit: FIFA

FIFA has announced that the United States will host the first edition of its new and expanded 32-team Club World Cup, which is due to take place in 2025.

The FIFA Council unanimously awarded the event to the US at its meeting held today (Friday). World football’s governing body said the host selection process took into consideration the infrastructure and service requirements, as well as broader strategic objectives for the tournament.

FIFA said the decision was reached based on the United States’ position as a “proven leader” in staging global events and because it would allow the organisation to “maximise synergies” with the delivery of the 2026 World Cup, which the United States is co-hosting with Canada and Mexico.

FIFA said it will now look to engage with the relevant stakeholders to finalise the dates, venues and match schedule of the new tournament.

FIFA in March confirmed a further expansion of the 2026 World Cup by reverting back to the four-team group stage format. FIFA decided on the 16 cities that will host the World Cup in June 2022 and they will now have to accommodate an extra 24 games.

In February, Saudi Arabia further strengthened its position in the major events hosting market by being awarded the right to stage the 2023 Club World Cup, from December 12-22. Expanding the Club World Cup has long been one of the key missions of FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

China was due to host the inaugural edition of a revamped tournament in 2021, only for it to be cancelled due to the global pandemic. The vision at that time was for a 24-team tournament, but a 32-team event will now take place in 2025, and subsequently be held every four years. Saudi Arabia’s 2023 Club World Cup will remain a seven-club affair.

Infantino said today: “The FIFA Club World Cup 2025 will be the pinnacle of elite professional men’s club football, and with the required infrastructure in place together with a massive local interest, the United States is the ideal host to kick off this new, global tournament.

“With some of the world’s top clubs already qualified, fans from every continent will be bringing their passion and energy to the United States in two years’ time for this significant milestone in our mission to make football truly global.”