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Gianni Infantino confirms Club World Cup plans

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has confirmed that a significantly expanded Club World Cup will take place in 2025.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the 2022 World Cup final, the FIFA boss announced that 32 teams will compete in the revised tournament, (via Simon Collings).

This will effectively run along similar lines to the World Cup and may be viewed as a rival to the UEFA Champions League.

Infantino confirmed there are plans for a women’s Club World Cup, although he did not offer any further substantive details.

FIFA also intends to use the March international windows in even years to organise friendly tournaments between four teams from different confederations.

Infantino described this idea as a ‘FIFA World Series types of events’.

The FIFA boss doubled down on his view that staging the World Cup during November and December was a good idea.

He claimed that moving the tournament has led to better football rather than ‘at the end of an exhausting season’ for players.

His views point to FIFA going for another winter World Cup, opening the door for it to be hosted by Saudi Arabia in the future.

However, FIFA will reconsider its decision to have 16 groups of three at the next World Cup due to the excitement generated by the four-team groups in Qatar.

Infantino also announced that FIFA’s revenues are expected to jump from $7.5 billion in the current World Cup cycle (2018-22) to $11bn in the four years to 2026.

He said FIFA is determined to make football the number one sport in North America and is keen to drive that initiative by staying in power until 2031.

Infantino struck a controversial note by hitting out at teams that made on-pitch protests such as taking a knee or wearing rainbow armbands.

He said that ‘fans who come to the stadium and billions watching on television have their own problems and just want to spend ninety minutes without having to think about anything else’.

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