The new 24-team Club World Cup is in the making!
Written by: Debajit Sarma
This will change the aura of the tournament completely.
FIFA, the governing body of the sport is planning an overhaul of the existing Club World Cup tournament by floating a new multi-billion dollar 24 team club tournament. The new Club World Cup would be held every four years replacing the Confederations Cup with the first tournament to be held in held in June 2021. China is understood to have expressed a desire in being the first host nation.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino is said to be anxious to secure an agreement before the World Cup begins in Russia on June 14. He is expected to call an emergency meeting with all the parties involved to get the approval. It is also reported that the FIFA has held talks with a number of top clubs, including Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona and the response is said to be positive.
FIFA’s plans for the tournament will have its strongest opposition from UEFA, the governing body of club football in Europe. UEFA is reportedly furious with FIFA’s proposal because it fears that the new tournament would have an impact on its main revenue spinner- the Champions League. The Premier League is also said to be opposed to FIFA’s move.
For forming the list of 24 teams in the inaugural edition of the tournament, FIFA would go on an invitation basis, giving special importance to Europe and South America, having 12 teams from the former and five from the latter. FIFA’s preferred option is to invite those teams from Europe who have won atleast three Champions Leagues or European Cups. That would include Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Ajax and Juventus. The other three places would be filled by among clubs such as Atlético Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea, Benfica, Porto and Borussia Dortmund.
The 24 teams would be divided into groups of three. The eight winners of each group would then advance to the quarterfinals
The money for the mega-rich tournament is pledged by a consortium which has investors from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as their biggest backers. The consortium is willing to invest up to $25 billion to secure the rights to co-own the proposed competition.
The prize pot on offer is about $2 billion (£1.5) to be shared among all the 24 teams, with the winner taking home as much as £100million with a guaranteed minimum £50million.
Published: Sat May 19, 2018 01:42 PM IST