In 2024, the United States will host the inaugural edition of an enlarged Club World Cup, which will include 32 of the greatest club teams from across the world competing for the title of best in the world. This will take place a year before the World Cup, which will be held in North America.
The 12 best teams in Europe, as determined by their results in the Champions League, will compete for a spot in the tournament. These clubs will include Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Manchester City, among others. The club championships held across the different continents will determine which clubs from the rest of the globe will qualify.
Teams from Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Brazil, and other countries have already qualified for the tournament, although more than half of the participants have not yet been decided. The Major League Soccer club Seattle Sounders qualified for the tournament by winning the 2022 Concacaf Champions League.
On Friday, FIFA made the announcement that the United States would play host to the tournament. The tournament’s precise structure as well as the locations of the cities in which games will be played have not been released as of yet. It is anticipated that the event will take place in the months of June and July.
For a very long time, FIFA has harboured the hope that one day it would be able to host a club world championship that will be on par with its other major international team competitions. A 24-team competition of this event was planned to take place in China at one time, but it was eventually cancelled, in part due of the epidemic.
The current configuration of the Club World Cup began in 2005 and has been followed ever since. It is now played during the winter months and has seven teams: one from each continent as well as the side from the host nation. The enlarged event, which had been planned for a very long time but was repeatedly postponed, is slated to take place once every four years.
Despite the fact that teams from all over the world participate, European teams almost always emerge victorious in the competition. With 12 of the 32 teams signed up for the new format, it is probable that this trend will continue. This indicates that the Club World Cup has the potential to become basically an improved version of the Champions League that is played in Europe. Additionally, it would add to the practically continuous schedule of competitions for elite players throughout the year.
At times, the European regulatory body, UEFA, as well as several elite club clubs and representation for players, have been less than enthused about the enlarged tournament. Part of this may be attributed to the reasons listed above.
The chief executive officer of the United States Soccer Federation, J.T. Batson, expressed his excitement about the upcoming event.
In addition to the twelve teams from Europe that will compete in the tournament in 2025, there will be six teams from South America, four teams from Asia, four teams from Africa, four teams from the North and Central America and Caribbean area, one team from Oceania, and one team from the host nation, which will be the United States of America.
The enlarged Club World Cup will take place one year before to the 2026 World Cup, which will be hosted mostly in the United States, with some matches also being played in Canada and Mexico. In 2024, the United States of America will play host to the Copa América, the championship tournament for the national teams of South American countries.