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FIFA to vote on expanded Club World Cup in 2021

Miami (AFP) – FIFA Council members will on Friday vote for the creation of an expanded 24-team Club World Cup, with a “pilot” edition of the new tournament to be held in 2021, according to a document seen by AFP.

A 17-page report distributed to the 37 members of FIFA’s ruling body calls for the new tournament to take place between June 17 and July 4 2021, replacing the Confederations Cup international tournament.

The new tournament is the result of a working group created by FIFA following opposition to an earlier proposed revamp presented at a meeting last year in Bogota.

The document said five of the six regional confederations were in favour of the proposal being tabled at Friday’s FIFA Council meeting in Miami.

However European governing body UEFA, which accuses FIFA of a lack of consultation and transparency over the issue, has opposed the vote citing scheduling problems.

Under the proposal to be discussed on Friday, UEFA, which had initially sought 12 teams in the tournament, will have only eight slots.

South America will have six qualified clubs, while Africa, Asia, North and Central America will each have three teams. One team will represent the Oceania region.

Qualification for the event would be at the discretion of the various confederations. 

The tournament will see the 24 teams split into eight groups of three, with the eight group winners advancing to the quarter-finals.

According to the FIFA document, 90.4% of the governing body’s 211 member federations are in favour of a revamped competition and 60% back the 24-team tournament.

An earlier proposal for a revamped Club World Cup was to be bankrolled by a group of investors from Asia and the Middle East, but that funding offer was later withdrawn.

The FIFA document makes no mention of the funding for the new club tournament, stating only that the event will represent a “new source of revenue to reinvest in the game globally”, with cash generated staying “within football” and not going to “third parties.”

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