2025: FIFA launches 32-team Club World Cup tournament

Gianni Infantino says FIFA will launch a new 32-team men’s Club World Cup starting in 2025 and revealed they will ‘rediscuss’ the 2026 World Cup group stage format.

The new Club World Cup concept was initially meant to launch in China in 2021 with 24 teams but was cancelled due to the pandemic – and is now set for a further expansion from June 2025.

Meanwhile, the current World Cup format, in place since 1998 which sees 32 teams drawn into eight groups of four, is also set to change at the expanded 48-team tournament in four years’ time with the FIFA Council choosing in 2017 for the nations to be split into 16 groups of three.

However, after the dramatic finale to the group stages in Qatar, Infantino, speaking at a press conference for the first time since his controversial speech on the eve of the tournament, revealed the group stage format could yet change.

Infantino said: “After this World Cup and the success of the groups of four, absolutely incredible, we have to re-discuss whether 16 groups of three or 12 groups of four are better.”

Sky Sports