United States to host expanded Club World Cup in 2025
The US will host a first-ever 32-team FIFA Club World Cup in 2025 as a prelude to the men's 2026 FIFA World Cup, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.
"The FIFA Council has unanimously appointed the United States as the host of the new and expanded 32-team FIFA Club World Cup that is due to take place in 2025, at its meeting held by videoconference from the Home of FIFA," world football's governing body said in a Friday statement.
"The decision was reached based on the United States’ position as a proven leader in staging global events and because it would allow FIFA to maximise synergies with the delivery of the FIFA World Cup 2026, to the benefit of both tournaments and the development of football in the North American region," FIFA said.
Canada, Mexico, and the US will co-host the 2026 World Cup as the ultimate international football contest returns to North America.
The US last hosted the men's World Cup some 30 years ago, in 1994. Mexico, on the other hand, hosted the World Cup finals twice, in 1970 and 1986. This will be Canada’s first time hosting a men's World Cup tournament.
"As a next step, FIFA will engage with the relevant stakeholders to finalise the dates, venues and match schedule of this new tournament (2025 Club World Cup)," FIFA added.
"The FIFA 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 United States is the ideal host to kick off this new, global tournament," said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
"With some of the world’s top clubs already qualified, fans from every continent will be bringing their passion and energy to the United States in two years’ time for this significant milestone in our mission to make football truly global," he added.
Europe has 12 slots for the expanded 2025 FIFA Club World Cup, while the host nation will have one.
Founded in 2000, the Club World Cup was last won by Real Madrid in 2022.
The Spanish football powerhouse won it five times to be the world record holders.
The next Club World Cup, the 20th edition of the competition, will be played in Saudi Arabia in December 2023, the swan song for the seven-team Club World Cup.