Manchester City players celebrate after scoring against Urawa Red Diamonds during the teams' semifinal match at the FIFA Club World Cup at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Dec. 19. AFP-Yonhap

The FIFA Club World Cup, pitting continental champions against each other, will expand to 32 teams beginning in 2025, the global football governing body has announced, giving Korean clubs more opportunities to qualify .FIFA Council approved the new format during a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday, while also naming the United States as the host of the expanded tournament in 2025 as a prelude to the 2026 World Cup. The U.S. will co-host the 2026 competition with Canada and Mexico, with 48 nations, up from the current 32, set to compete. The official name of the Club World Cup will be “Mundial de Clubes FIFA.” Previously, the Club World Cup has been played annually, featuring six champions of their respective confederation tournaments, plus the league champion of the host country. The 2023 tournament is being held in Saudi Arabia this week, with the final between Manchester City of the Premier League and Fluminense of the top Brazilian league set to clash in the final Friday. Starting in 2025, the tournament will be played every four years. The 32 teams will be divided into eight groups of four teams, with the top two from each group advancing to the knockout stage — the same format as the old FIFA World Cup.

Under the new format, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) will have the most slots at the Club World Cup with 12, followed by the South American confederation, CONMEBOL, with six. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), along with the governing bodies for Africa and North and Central America, will have four spots each. The Oceania Football Confederation will have one, and the host country will have an automatic spot for one of its clubs. Arsene Wenger, former Arsenal manager and currently FIFA’s head of global football development, said Tuesday the expansion of the Club World Cup will do wonders for teams around the world. “The positive impact that this will have on clubs is going to be huge, because it will increase resources for clubs all over the world to develop and to compete,” Wenger said in a statement released by FIFA. “In Europe, we are lucky, but it’s important that we make football really global and this creates a chance for other clubs to progress, this is the real target. It will give more opportunities to more players all over the world to compete at the highest level. I feel there is a huge expectation from football fans to see their clubs compete on the world stage.”For those confederations with four slots, champions of the continental tournaments from 2021 to 2024 will qualify for the Club World Cup.From the AFC, the 2021 and 2022 winners of the AFC Champions League, Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia and Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan, have secured their spots in the 2025 Club World Cup.

The AFC has changed its Champions League schedule from the intra-year (spring to autumn) to inter-year (autumn to spring), and the 2023-2024 competition will conclude in May 2024.If the same club wins multiple editions of the continental tournament during the 2021-2024 period, then a club ranking based on teams’ performances at the regional events in those years will be used to fill the remaining slots. For clubs in Asia, for instance, every victory at the AFC Champions League will be worth three points and every draw will be good for one point. Progress to each stage of the competition will be worth three points, too. According to FIFA, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of Korea’s K League 1 lead the AFC club rankings with 71 points, followed by another K League 1 team, Ulsan HD FC, with 59 points. Both clubs have qualified for the knockout stage of the ongoing AFC Champions League. No AFC club has won the Club World Cup. Pohang Steelers’ third-place finish in 2009 remains the K League’s best performance so far. Mindful of concerns among players that the new Club World Cup format will only increase their already-heavy workload, Wenger said, “There is demand for big competitions in football, and there has been good support for this one.”

“I accept that the football calendar is a busy one, but this is a competition that is going to take place every four years,” he added. “Of course, the rest period during the competition and afterwards has to be respected. Wenger also noted that players are better taken care of now than in the past and said it’s not a coincidence that stars such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema are winning awards well into their 30s.”The welfare of the players in the last 20 years has increased dramatically as well. When you look at injury prevention, recovery work, nutrition and advances in medical technology. It is unrecognizable from what it used to be,” he said. “Also VAR (video assistant referee) has helped with the protection of players, as players know they cannot escape from making bad tackles that cause injury. So overall, there has been huge 온라인카지노 improvements on the welfare side, and we want to continue with that progress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *