Despite considerable protests and against the votes of the seven European representatives to DFB boss Reinhard Grindel, the FIFA Council has decided on an enlarged club World Cup for 2021. At the World Cup 24 instead of seven teams to participate.
"This is a milestone for FIFA and a milestone in global club football," said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. The Club World Cup is scheduled to take place from 17 June to 4 July 2021 and replace the Confederations Cup, which has so far been a World Cup test. Europe has been awarded eight starters, but whether the top teams like Real Madrid or Manchester City will be there is not clear.
"We have represented the interests of players and clubs to avoid overburdening and it would be better to adjust the international calendar before a World Cup," said Grindel. "We hope all the big teams will attend, we had a positive and constructive discussion and we continue to do so, but it was our responsibility to make a decision today," said Infantino.
Originally, the FIFA even have twelve European teams. Following protests from UEFA, which sees the Club World Cup as competing against the Champions League, eight representatives are now scheduled. In the dispute over money and influence on international competitions, the European Club Association ECA had previously opposed the plans of Infantino. The associations and clubs are still facing tough negotiations.
FIFA is also sticking to its plans to expand the 2022 World Cup to 48 participants. Concrete progress was apparently not made at the meeting. "We presented the feasibility study to the Council, concluding that yes, it is possible to extend the 2022 World Cup from 20 to 48 teams – assuming that some conditions are met," said Infantino, who remains questionable in the face of the diplomatic crisis In the Gulf region, however, which much-needed co-hosts there can be. "My impression is that the political situation leaves it completely open, whether it comes to an expansion of the World Cup in Qatar," said DFB President Grindel. There is no talk of the Global Nations League as another component of Infantino's $ 25 billion investment by unnamed financial backers.