FIFA to make final decision on expanding 2022 World Cup in June

FIFA to make final decision on expanding 2022 World Cup in June

The FIFA Council has agreed to introduce a pilot tournament of an enlarged 24-team Club World Cup in 2021 despite opposition from Europe's top clubs.

It will replace the current seven-team annual Club World Cup, which is now played in December, with an expanded quadrennial version in June-July 2021. "We will continue our discussions".

The revamped FIFA Club World Cup will be played during the global match calendar slot that corresponded to the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Infantino added that club football was "evolving at a different pace in different parts of the world" and it was Fifa's duty to put on an "exciting, prestigious and inclusive competition, and we'll have that with this Club World Cup, starting in 2021". The ECA had no immediate comment after the decision. Earlier on Friday, a letter from European Club Association head Andrea Agnelli - the chairman of Serie A side Juventus - was published in German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, stating that it will boycott the competition.

The signatories said they are "firmly against any approval of a revised Club World Cup at this point in time and confirm that no ECA clubs would take part to such a competition".

It says a decision on potential new competitions can only be made as part of an agreed framework for the worldwide match calendar post-2024.

"We know the current form doesn't work", FIFA Vice President Victor Montagliani told the AP.

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"We are the only organisation reducing the number of tournaments and games - this will not have a neutral impact on the calendar, it will be positive", he said.

The women's under-17 World Cup has 16 nations and Das had said that they can host matches at "just four cities".

The tournament would be held instead of the Confederations Cup in June 2021.

The champion of the Concacaf Champions League represents the region in the current Club World Cup structure. European club seasons typically start around mid-August.

In the first edition, South America would have six slots - one based on previous performances. Oceania would get one representative. Winners of the eight three-team groups would advance to the quarterfinals. Teams would play two to five matches over a maximum of 18 days. Infantino's push to expand the 2022 edition is being forced on hosts Qatar and will require significant changes to its plan.

VAR made its World Cup debut at the men's tournament in Russian Federation past year.

Male VAR operators are likely to assist all-female teams of referees and assistants given no domestic women's competition uses video review. However, there is very little money in women's football, and neither a stable club structure nor a sustainable competitive calendar.

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