FIFA, world's football governing body, is considering an expanding the eight-team Club World Cup to a new, bigger 24-team event, according to Associated Press. The new event may start in June 2021 in China.
FIFA plans to include 24 clubs around the world for the new championship: 12 from Europe, two from Asia, two from Africa, two from Central and North America, 4.5 from South America, 0.5 from Oceania and 1 from the host country.
If the new event happens in June 2021, FIFA will have to cancel the current Club World Cup and the Confederations Cup, an event that regularly takes place one year before the World Cup. Having seen how much money the UEFA Champions League has made for the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) every year, FIFA is understandably trying to set up its own "World Champions League".
The 12 clubs from Europe will be selected based on their prior performances in the different European leagues. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona from La Liga; FC Bayern München from the German Bundesliga; Juventus F.C., A.C. Milan and F.C Inter Milan from Serie A; Manchester United, Liverpool Football Club from the Premier League; AFC Ajax from the Eredivisie and PSG from Ligue 1 are almost guaranteed to be participating. Another two clubs will be selected from Manchester City, Chelsea, FC Porto, SL Benfica - both from Portugal's Primeira Liga - and Borussia Dortmund.
However, UEFA has not shown clear support for FIFA's plan. At a club meeting last week, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester City, Manchester United, PSG and Bayern München objected to the plan.
China is on the list of possible host countries thanks to its great market potential and excellent organizing ability. Moreover, with only two clubs from Asia, Chinese teams may need to win the AFC Champions League to qualified, which can be a real challenge. If China can host the event, then one of its clubs is guaranteed entry. Besides, it will also be a good test for China before it applies to host the FIFA World Cup in the future.
BY Li Xiang