Real Madrid’s Club World Cup dates confirmed
Gianni Infantino confirmed that it will be played from February 1 to 11 in Morocco. It also announced the expansion to 32 from 2025.
Gianni Infantino confirmed the decisions made by the FIFA Council in Doha - including the official dates of the next edition of the Club World Cup, which will be played from Wednesday 1 February 1 to Saturday 11 February 2023 in Morocco. The North African country will host the tournament for the third time, having staged the 2014 and 2015 editions. Real Madrid, who qualified as European champions, will enter the competition at the semi-final stage. Madrid’s biggest rivals will be Copa Libertadores champions Flamengo, who will also enter the tournament at the semi-finals.
The Club World Cup will feature the classic format of recent years - the six champions from the different confederations plus the national champion of the host country, in Morroco’s case, Botola Pro winners Wydad Casablanca. Other teams taking part include: CONCACAF Champions League winners Seattle Sounders, Oceania Champions League holders Auckland City. They will be joined by a team from the Asian confederation as yet to be confirmed - the AFC Champions League is still in progress and won’t be resolved until May 2023. So far, just one team has qualified for the final, Japanese side Urawa Reds.
Expanded Club World Cup
Infantino also announced that from 2025, the Club World Cup will expanded to feature 32 teams. The idea had already been put forward some time ago with China named as the host country for the first edition, which was due to be held in 2021. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic together with subsequent delays in the fixtures calendar, the revamped tournament has been set back until 2025. An expanded Club World Cup will also required modifications to the international and domestic match calendars.
In recent days, it was reported that the new Club World Cup with 32 teams was in danger of not materialising due to disagreements between FIFA and the ECA (European Club Association) regarding the transfer of international footballers. With Infantino’s announcement, pending the ECA’s position, it is assumed that the expanded World Cup will continue.
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