FIFA has officially approved plans to expand the Club World Cup in 2025 and revealed qualification criteria. The new rules mean that teams like Chelsea, Real Madrid and even the Seattle Sounders have already qualify for the tournament.

Under the new scheme, clubs that win the UEFA Champions League from 2021 to 2024 would automatically qualify for the competition in 2025. Chelsea won the prestigious tournament in 2021 and Real are currently the reigning champs. Two more teams will receive qualification to the Club World Cup by winning the next two Champions Leagues. This is, of course, assuming that different clubs win the competition.

Infantino wants tournament to resemble World Cup

The current format for the Club World Cup consists of just seven teams. However, this will all change for the 2025 tournament. FIFA president Gianni Infantino previously stated that he wanted the competition to “feel like a World Cup.” Thirty-two total teams will take part of the 2025 Club World Cup.

Along with UEFA Champions League winners, additional European clubs will qualify for the tournament based on rankings. This means that teams that have never won the Champions League would be invited to the Club World Cup. Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are the two most high-profile clubs that would fit this category.

Champions from equivalent competitions would also qualify for the 2025 tournament. This would include African Champions League winners and Copa Libertadores champions. There will also be a cap of two teams per country involved in the tournament. However, this would obviously change should multiple teams from each nation win their Champions League equivalents.

Sounders already secured qualification to 2025 Club World Cup

Much like European teams, CONCACAF will feature similar qualifications. As previous winners of the CONCACAF Champions League, Seattle Sounders and CF Monterrey have already qualified for the 2025 Club World Cup. In all, four CONCACAF clubs will take part in the tournament.

Should a particular club win the region’s Champions League twice, the next highest-ranking team will then qualify for the tournament. More details on the ranking system come out in the future.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Sports Press Photo