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New FIFA Club World Cup format explained

New FIFA Club World Cup format: 24 teams, 8 groups, schedule, broadcasters, rules explained

March 17, 2019 By Ali M.
The Club World Cup is due a face-lift after the FIFA Council approved changes to the tournament in a meeting in Miami.

Are you a fan of the FIFA Club World Cup? Then you will be glad to hear that this competition is in for a new and exciting revamp.

The FIFA Council gave the green light for proposed changes to this club competition, with 25 voting in favor of the remodeling in a meeting in Miami on March 15. Gone is the annual tournament, which will soon be replaced by a once-every-four-years competition that will see 24 teams split into eights groups of three.

A knockout format will follow, with the teams having to make the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and then the final before they can get their hands on the trophy. While the details are still being molded, here's what we know so far about the alterations coming to the Club World Cup.

1) When will the maiden edition of the new 24-team FIFA Club World Cup take place?

The maiden edition of this new and revamped FIFA Club World Cup will take place in the summer of 2021.

2) How many teams can qualify from each group in the revamped FIFA Club World Cup tournament?

Only the top team in each group will move on to the knockout round, meaning a total of eight teams -- as usual -- will progress to the quarter-finals.

3) At what time of the year will the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup and subsequent CWCs be played?

The 2021 FIFA Club World Cup will be held in June and July of that year. It will take place during the international match calendar slot that corresponded to the FIFA Confederations Cup and will be a once-every-four-years tournament, meaning fans would have to wait until 2025 after that and so on.

4) How many confederations shall participate in the revamped FIFA Club World Cup?

With 24 clubs set to compete from 2021 onwards, the FIFA Club World Cup will comprise of:

  • 4 last UEFA Champions League winners

  • 4 last UEFA Europa League winners

  • 4 last Copa Libertadores winners

  • 2 last Copa Sudamericana winners

  • 3 last CAF Champions League winners

  • 3 last AFC Champions League winners

  • 3 last CONCACAF Champions League winners

  • (1) The last Oceania Champions League winner

5) Which teams will compete in the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup?

Although the participants are yet to be confirmed, Real Madrid's spot is guaranteed since their 2018 UEFA Champions League title means they will be one of the last four UCL winners by 2021. Should there be three different winners from now until 2021, then the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Chelsea could miss out if they are not crowned the kings of Europe once more between now and then.

What the new FIFA Club World Cup would look like today

FIFA, FIFA Club World Cup, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern Munich

This graphic (courtesy of the r/soccer subreddit) best explains things. Should the revamped Club World Cup be held this year, the Blaugrana, the Bavarians, and the Blues would qualify since they were one of the last four champions before Los Blancos' three-year dominance. Atletico Madrid and River Plate will also be participants in 2021 courtesy of their 2018 Europa League and Copa Libertadores triumphs.

6) Which TV networks have broadcast rights to the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup?

The broadcasters are yet to be confirmed. Stay tuned to Live Soccer TV for updates once it has been revealed who will air the revamped competition.


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