The FIFA Council approved the establishment of a new landmark club competition: a revamped, 24-team FIFA Club World Cup, the pilot edition of which will be held in June and July 2021. The decision was taken today, during the ninth meeting of FIFA’s strategic and decision-making body, in Miami. There were 25 votes in favour of and seven against the proposal.
The revamped FIFA Club World Cup will be played during the international match calendar slot that corresponded to the FIFA Confederations Cup. 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.
Further details – such as the proposed match schedule and the slot allocation for representatives of each confederation – will be discussed further and decided at a later stage.
The decision to overhaul the FIFA Club World Cup comes after a thorough consultation process that started in 2016 and involved the FIFA Council, the Football Stakeholders Committee, the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions, the member associations at the Executive Football Summits, as well as bilateral discussions with professional football stakeholders.
The consultation process culminated in the work of a dedicated task force formed by FIFA and the six confederations. 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. The subject was also at the centre of constructive dialogue between FIFA and UEFA, which will continue over the course of the upcoming months.
The task force was also asked to look into the various possibilities surrounding the introduction of a worldwide Nations League. In this regard, the task force’s assessment is that there is still more work to be done before it can come to any conclusions and potentially make concrete proposals.
Therefore, the FIFA Council agreed to extend the mandate of the FIFA Task Force for Future Competitions to continue exploring the idea of a worldwide Nations League, with no specific time frame having been set at this stage.