Revealed: How FIFA plans to use Champions League performance to determine Club World Cup qualification

Infantino Benzema FIFA Club World CupGetty
  • FIFA CWC set to expand to 32 teams in 2025
  • 12 European clubs to qualify
  • Might use UCL performances for qualification

WHAT HAPPENED? FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced that the Club World Cup will be expanded to 32 teams from 2025 at the 2022 World Cup. In a report in The Times, it has been revealed that the governing body may take into consideration recent performances in the Champions League to determine the 12 European clubs that will participate in the expanded edition. Out of the 12 spots, eight will be filled via coefficient rankings, while the remaining four would be awarded to Champions League winners from 2022-25. Only two places per football association would be allocated, which could increase to four including the Champions League winners.

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: If these plans are implemented, it would mean Real Madrid have already qualified, by virtue of being 2021-22 Champions League winners. If the latest coefficient rankings are anything to go by, Manchester City can be sure of a berth, while the other English spots might go to Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester United depending on their future results in Europe. Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal might find it difficult to qualify via the coefficient route as they are ranked 18th and 23rd in Europe respectively.

AND WHAT'S MORE: The current qualification process is still under discussion between FIFA, UEFA and the European Club Association. However, it has been reported that the World Leagues Forum and the Premier League are not on the same page as FIFA regarding the expanded competition as the world body has not consulted with them.


Real Madrid Champions League 2021-22GettyChelsea Champions League trophy 2020-21Getty ImagesRiyad Mahrez, RB Leipzig Manchester City Champions League 22022023Getty Images

WHAT NEXT? The next edition of the seven-team Club World Cup will be held in Saudi Arabia in December.

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