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FIFA to launch Women’s Club World Cup

Featured image credit: FIFA

FIFA has announced that it will launch a Women’s Club World Cup competition in 2026, while Qatar is set to stage further events with the news that it will continue as the destination for the Arab Cup tournament.

The news came as the FIFA Council met today (Wednesday) ahead of the FIFA Congress in Bangkok, Thailand. Women’s football was a key focus of today’s talks, which also approved an international match calendar for 2026 to 2029. The new Women’s Club World Cup will be part of this.

Following the FIFA Council’s decision in December 2022 to approve the strategic principle of introducing a Women’s Club World Cup, and subsequent extensive consultation with confederations and other stakeholders, it was proposed today that the inaugural edition of the competition be contested by 16 teams in January-February 2026. The tournament will be held every four years, with FIFA stating that further details will follow in due course.

World football’s governing body added that to facilitate the continued global development of women’s clubs and based on requests from the confederations to provide “ample playing opportunities” on a yearly basis, an additional women’s club competition is proposed to be organised in non-Women’s Club World Cup years as from 2027.

In relation to the 2027 Women’s World Cup, it was also formally confirmed today that the joint bid by the Belgian Football Association, Dutch Football Association and German Football Association, as well as the single bid by the Brazilian Football Confederation, have been submitted to the FIFA Congress for a final vote which will take place on Friday.

FIFA also today stated that at the request of the Qatar Football Association (QFA), Qatar will host the FIFA Arab Cup in 2025, 2029 and 2033. FIFA said this will follow the principle of an invitational competition not included in the international match calendar.

In November 2020, FIFA confirmed plans for Qatar to stage an Arab Cup tournament in 2021, with the event utilised as the final test of preparations for the 2022 World Cup. The QFA and FIFA first announced that the Gulf state would host a pan-Arab tournament back in June 2020.

The FIFA Arab Cup was held from November 30 to December 18, 2021, involving 22 national teams from the region. It was the first edition of the event staged under FIFA’s direct jurisdiction.

In other news today, the FIFA Council formally appointed Mattias Grafström as secretary general. Grafström has served in the position on an ad interim basis since October, following the announcement that Fatma Samoura would depart FIFA.