The expanded FIFA Club World Cup will be held in the United States for the first time from June 15 to July 13, 2025, the world soccer governing body announced on Sunday.
FIFA stated that the 32-team event, officially known as the Mundial de Clubes FIFA, will be “harmoniously aligned with the International Match Calendar” to guarantee that there is ample time between the final and the start of local leagues.
“Clubs play a fundamental role in world football, and the FIFA Club World Cup 2025 will be a major milestone in providing clubs from all confederations with a fitting stage on which to shine at the highest level of the game,” the president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, stated.
“This will be an open competition based on sporting merit that will play a key role as part of our efforts to make football truly global.”
The final Club World Cup in its current format is currently underway in Saudi Arabia, with Champions League champion Manchester City attempting to capture the trophy for the first time.
The winner of the Champions League and the winner of a playoff involving champions from the other soccer confederations will compete in an annual event named the Coupe Intercontinental de la FIFA beginning in 2024.
FIFPRO, the players’ union, slammed the announcement.
“The FIFA Council’s decision today to schedule the first edition of the 32-team FIFA Club World Cup between June 15 and July 13 without implementing further player workload safeguards demonstrates a lack of consideration for the mental and physical health of participating players, as well as a disregard for their personal and family lives,” the group said in a statement.
It urged negotiations on introducing player health and safety requirements as a “matter of urgency.”
“The extreme mental and physical pressures at the pinnacle of the game is the principal concern of players with multiple clubs and national team competitions, leading to exhaustion, physical injuries, mental health issues, diminished performance, and risks to career longevity,“ the statement went on to say. “They have repeatedly voiced concerns about mounting workload to their national player unions.”