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Club World Cup

Infantino wants Club World Cup with more clubs and in June

Gianni Infantino, Fifa president, is looking for a big and quick change to the annual club competition which would see it grow to over 30 teams.

Gianni Infantino, Fifa president
ARND WIEGMANN REUTERS

Fifa president Gianni Infantino spoke to Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday and made it clear that he is looking to revamp the Club World Cup, increasing the number of teams taking part in the annual event from seven to 32.

Last year's champions, FC Barcelona

Last year's champions, FC Barcelona

Bringing together the world's best clubs

The existing format brings together champions from each of the continental federations and is held in December with Japan the 2016 hosts. If Infantino's idea gains traction the annual competition would undergo a massive upgrade and be staged instead in June.

The man who took over the reigns of football's governing body felt that the current version "has a complicated formula held at a difficult time, attracting little enthusiasm," before suggesting that it would be better, "in summer, from June 10 to 30, with 32 of the world's best clubs!".

"Is it worth the tiring trips involving lots of air travel and time zones, or a tournament? But it all depends on the health of the players who must be able to rest afterwards."

A new look competition for a new world

Infantino also discussed the notion with Spain's Mundo Deportivo telling the Catalan daily saying that "football nowadays isn't just Europe and South America".

"It's not just about Europe and South America"

"The world has changed, so we have to find a Club World Cup which will be more interesting for the teams, as well as the fans around the world," he added. As to whether Infantino's new look Club World Club could be held from 2019, he said simply, "Yes, why not?"

He revealed that former Croatian and Dutch internationals Zvonimir Boban and Marco van Basten were working on ways to improve the event. Boban is Infantino's special advisor on football matters, and Van Basten is FIFA's chief technical development officer.

Europe lack interest but not winners

Barcelona are the reigning Club World Cup champions with the 2016 edition being held in Japan from December 8-18 and featuring teams such as Real Madrid, Club America, Atletico Nacional, Mamelodi Sundowns, and Auckland City.

European teams have won the title seven times in the 11 years the competition has been played under the current seven-team format.