Ahead of the Club World Cup, Napoli are looking to try and pressure FIFA to exclude Juventus. The new Club World Cup tournament features 32 teams from each of FIFA’s six confederations vying for the grand prize.

There are a lot of clubs competing for qualifying all across the world, but 19 have already clinched their berths. Only Oceania (OFC) is now at capacity; all other confederations, including UEFA (Europe), AFC (Asia), CONMEBOL (South America), and CAF (Africa), have slots available.

The European clubs have a total of twelve spots available, with eight of those teams having qualified before. The previous European champions from the most recent UEFA Champions League—Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Manchester City—earned three spots.

Not only that, but eight more teams—including PSG, Bayern, Inter, Porto, and Benfica—obtained their invitations via the UEFA rankings. The compeititons have reserved one place for the UEFA Champions League champions and three more via the rankings. That means that a total of four spots are still up for grabs.

Who has qualified so far?

The 2023-24 season’s group stage and three full Champions League editions have already taken place. Thus, FIFA are aware that it must adjust to the UEFA coefficient principles in order to choose the teams. Keeping that in mind, the tournament will feature an unusual system of points awarded at different stages.

Two points for a victory, one for a draw, four for making it to the group stage, five for making it to the round of 16, and an additional point for making it beyond that stage. Thus, for the time being, Atletico Madrid have qualified for the next Club World Cup instead of Barcelona. After 56 games played, Xavi Hernandez’s squad is in 12th place in Europe, six points less than Diego Simeone’s squad.

But Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, and Salzburg are also battling join the redesigned tournament via UEFA. So, due to their extensive history in Europe’s main club championships, the Italian side might qualify for the competition even if they aren’t competing in Europe this season.

The teams who get it this far will earn millions of dollars just from being in the competition. With Inter having guaranteed a berth, Napoli or Juventus will compete for the last Italian slot. To qualify, the Partenopei must go to the Champions League semi-finals.

De Laurentiis pointed towards Juventus’ UEFA ban as reason for a further expulsion from the Club World Cup
De Laurentiis pointed towards Juventus’ UEFA ban as reason for a further expulsion from the Club World Cup

De Laurentiis pointed towards Juventus’ UEFA ban as reason for a further expulsion from the Club World Cup

Napoli vs Juventus: This means war?

President Aurelio de Laurentiis has voiced his disapproval of Juventus in response to the possible qualifying. With the Bianconeri having failed to qualify for a single European tournament this season, he claims it is illogical for them to beat Napoli to the Club World Cup.

“I’m sorry for Calvo (Juventus manager, ed.) who I believe is still here, I can also feel sorry for Juventus, who have been punished and ousted from the cups this season. If we were to beat Barcelona and then get a draw and a win, we would qualify by right.

“But I also think that Napoli should go anyway, precisely because if Juventus were punished by UEFA with the elimination from the European cups.

“They shouldn’t even be admitted to the Club World Cup, without prejudice to the fact that this event will create a thousand problems for the next national season.”

In addition, according to Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli, Aurelio De Laurentiis made threats to appeal to FIFA in an effort to prevent Juventus from participating in the event.

Photo credits: IMAGO / NurPhoto : IMAGO / sportphoto24