Federation Internationale de Football Association to explore expanding 2022 World Cup from 32 to 48 teams

Federation Internationale de Football Association to explore expanding 2022 World Cup from 32 to 48 teams

Federation Internationale de Football Association to explore expanding 2022 World Cup from 32 to 48 teams

The Club World Cup fills the slot previously reserved for the Confederations Cup, which had served as a test event in a host nation a year before the World Cup. "We want to have an exciting competition, we want to have a prestigious competition, we want to have an inclusive competition and we will have this in the new Club World Cup starting in 2021".

The European Club Association (ECA), which represents 232 of the continent's leading sides, Europe's governing body Uefa and the world players' union, FIFPro, are all unhappy with what they claim is a lack of consultation in regards to the congested global calendar and Infantino's financial plans for the new tournament.

A final decision is due to be made at the meeting of FIFA Congress in Paris in June.

The task force held four meetings between November 2018 and February 2019 and, prior to the FIFA Council meeting in Miami, provided the members of FIFA's decision-making body with a detailed report on the technical and sporting elements linked to the organisation of a revamped FIFA Club World Cup.

'We hope that all the best teams will participate and we've had some very positive discussions with UEFA'.

In a letter that was leaked on Friday, the ECA's executive board, including board members at Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United and Real Madrid, said they would not take part in any new competition until 2024 at the earliest.

The FIFA Council is also expected to decide to continue exploring plans to expand the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to 48 teams with the possibility of additional hosting in other countries.

The signatories said they are "firmly against any approval of a revised Club World Cup at this point in time and confirm that no ECA clubs would take part to such a competition".

The Club World Cup is now an annual seven-team tournament which attracts minimal interest in Europe - the centre of the football business.

The announcement comes in the face of considerable opposition from European clubs. Three each would go to teams from Africa, Asia and CONCACAF, which represents North and Central America and the Caribbean. Oceania would get one representative. In the 2021 pilot edition, the 24 teams will be split into eight groups of three teams each, with the group winners to qualify for the quarter-finals in a knockout format. Teams would play two to five matches over a maximum of 18 days.

Infantino said five members of the Council did not attend the meeting, the first for FIFA's leadership in the USA since American law enforcement arrested numerous sport's top officials in 2015 on corruption charges.

Video assistant referees have also been approved for this year's Women's World Cup, which starts in France on June 7.

Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup nine years ago and will be the first time the tournament is held in an Arab nation.

Male VAR operators are likely to assist all-female teams of referees and assistants given no domestic women's competition uses video review.

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