Morocco will host the next Club World Cup in February, FIFA President Gianni Infantino confirmed, but the proposed expanded version of the competition is now due to commence in 2025.
Infantino informed reporters at a press conference in Doha that the event will return to Morocco for the third time from February 1 to 11, 2023.
Infantino has long wished for an enlarged Club World Cup. A 24-team event comprising eight European teams was scheduled to take place in China in 2021, but it was postponed owing to the coronavirus pandemic. He added that the new competition will begin in 2025 and would have 32 teams.
“A new 24-team men’s Club World Cup was agreed upon a few years ago. It was supposed to take place in 2021, however it was postponed due to Covid,” FIFA’s president stated.
“The new competition will take place in 2025 and will comprise 32 teams, making it truly comparable to the World Cup,” he added, without providing any other details.
The Club World Cup was staged in Morocco in 2013 and again in 2014, with Chelsea winning the trophy in February.
For the time being, the competition will be held in its current format, with the champions of the six continental federations competing alongside the top team from the host country.
Egyptian giants Al Ahly are now reportedly set to participate in the Club World Cup for the third successive year after Morocco were awarded the hosting rights.
The competition is set to continue in its existing format for now, featuring the champions of the six continental federations along with the top team from the host nation.