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Morocco picked by FIFA to host Club World Cup in February

DOHA, QATAR (AP) – Morocco was rewarded by FIFA yesterday with hosting rights for the next Club World Cup in February, with an expanded 32-team edition set to launch in 2025.

European champion Real Madrid, South American champion Flamengo and Seattle Sounders, the first CONCACAF Champions League winner from the United States, will play in the traditional seven-team tournament from February 1-11.

After Morocco’s inspiring run to the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar, the country will now stage the next global football event in six weeks’ time, FIFA’s ruling council decided.

It will be one of the last seven-team editions for continental champions with an expanded, month-long tournament planned to start in 2025.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the intended change was “making it really like a World Cup”.

Morocco also hosted Club World Cups in 2013 and 2014, which were won by Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, respectively

Only European and South American teams have won the Club World Cup since it was revived in the current format in 2005.

Moroccan fans cheer during the World Cup. PHOTO: AP