FIFA dealt blow as plans for revamped World Club Cup rejected

Michael Graham
World Club Cup revamp plans may need to be shelved
World Club Cup revamp plans may need to be shelved / Francois Nel/GettyImages

Europe’s top clubs are rejecting FIFA’s plan for a major relaunch of the Club World Cup, it has been reported.

The Club World Cup is a competition that lacks prestige and is often seen as an inconvenience to the top clubs, especially in Europe.

It caused controversy in England during the 1999/2000 season when the then champions of Europe Manchester United withdrew from the FA Cup to play in the tournament instead, which was held in Brazil.

The competition was in its formative days back then, and FIFA are now hoping to expand it to become much more of an event by making it a 32-team tournament to be staged every four years rather than annually.

However, no format has been agreed for it yet, and qualification criteria for clubs are also yet to be finalised.

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There were plans to hold a revamped 24-team World Club Cup in China last year, although it was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the continued restrictions in the county.

The main obstacle, though, according to a report by the Dail Mail, will be UEFA, who worry it could ultimately rival and surpass the Champions league as the premier club competition in football.

FIFA, meanwhile, are reportedly keen to get the tournament approved quickly to allow them to stage the event in the USA as a test run for the 2026 World Cup. Those hopes now appear to be fading, although talks are set to continue.