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The United States will get a dry run before helping to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
FIFA announced its Club World Cup will be staged in the U.S. in 2025. That will be the first year of the expanded 32-team format, a dramatic change from the current seven-team structure.
“The FIFA Club World Cup 2025 will be the pinnacle of elite professional men’s club football, and with the required infrastructure in place together with a massive local interest, the United States is the ideal host to kick off this new, global tournament,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Friday.
The purpose of the Club World Cup is fairly self-explanatory. It pits the continental champions against one another to crown one club as the best in the world.
Due both its placement on the calendar and abbreviated length, the tournament has struggled to gain much fanfare, though. The Club World Cup falls in the middle of the season and extends for a little over a week.
As a result, the event has felt less like an elite sporting endeavor and more a glorified exhibition.
That might change with the Club World Cup eventually mirroring its international counterpart more closely. Starting in 2025, it will be a quadrennial rather than annual affair with a group stage and then a knockout phase.
UEFA will have 12 representatives, double the next closest federation (CONMEBOL). Four clubs each will come from North/Central America, Asia and Africa. The highest-ranked winner of the OFC Champions League between the specified window will be invited as well.
FIFA has yet to confirm each host city in 2025, but it’s safe to assume the list will mostly or entirely overlap with the list of venues selected for the 2026 World Cup.