Manchester City and Manchester United could be impacted by a new competition being introduced by FIFA in the next few years.
Currently, European clubs are largely limited to playing competitive games against teams on the continent, with the only exception being the winners of the Champions League. The winners of UEFA’s biggest tournement enter the FIFA Club World Cup each year, taking on other continental winners in a small tourament, featuring seven teams from six confederations.
But as the Champions League prepares to be reshaped - to the dismay of many - FIFA are seizing the opportunity to give fans what they want as far as a straightforward, 32-team competition is concerned.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has announced that there will be a new FIFA Club World Cup that will be increased to feature 32 teams, taking on the format of the current World Cup, ahead of the international World Cup growing to 48 teams from the next edition.
He said in a press conference in Qatar: “The new men’s Club World Cup will take place in 2025 and will feature 32 teams. 32-team tournament will go ahead, making it like a World Cup”. Infantino also confirmed that works are underway to create a women’s equivalent.
It has been confirmed that the competition will take place in three years’ time, and presumably it will be held at one location, but those specifics are yet to be confirmed. It will also be interesting to know when it would take place, but it would surely have to be in the summer, which could be a big blow for players, who already get very little rest between club football and internationals, given World Cups and continent-specific tournaments like the European Championships, Copa America and AFCON all take place every two years, on average.
We don’t yet know how teams would qualify for the competition, but it’s assumed FIFA would want the best of the best involved from all corners of the planet.
City and United will be expecting to compete in the tournement, though City are much more likely to be involved as things stand, given there would only likely be around 13 European teams - if the World Cup is anything to go by - and that could mean there are only two or three Premier League teams involved.