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US to host expanded 32-team Club World Cup in 2025

MIAMI (AFP) – The United States (US) will host a new-look expanded 32-team Club World Cup in 2025, governing body FIFA announced.

The move means the US will host major tournaments for three successive summers, culminating in the 2026 World Cup which will be co-hosted with Mexico and Canada.

In 2024, an expanded Copa America, featuring national teams from South America and the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF)region, will be held in the US.

The existing Club World Cup, which began in 2000, has struggled to capture global attention and FIFA President Gianni Infantino has long targetted an expansion to bring the top clubs from Europe, South America and the rest of the world into a tournament format.

The most recent edition was held in Morocco in February and featured just seven teams.

“The Club World Cup 2025 will be the pinnacle of elite professional men’s club football, and with the required infrastructure in place together with a massive local interest, the US is the ideal host to kick off this new, global tournament,” said Infantino.

Real Madrid players celebrate with the trophy after winning the FIFA Club World Cup final in February. PHOTO: AP

While many of the qualification slots remain to be decided, the tournament will feature the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea, Brazilian clubs Flamengo and Palmeiras, Mexican team Leon and Seattle Sounders from Major League Soccer.

The dates, host cities and match schedule for the tournament will be established at a later date, FIFA said on Friday.

FIFA decided in February that the new competition will feature 12 teams from Europe, six from South America and four representatives each from Asia, Africa and CONCACAF, which includes North and Central America and the Caribbean.

The Oceania region will also be given one slot and the host nation is guaranteed a place in  the tournament.

The European participants will include the winners of last five Champions Leagues.

The new tournament will, like the national team World Cup, be held every four years.

Teams from South America will qualify through the Copa Libertadores and CONMEBOL’s rankings.