The United States Selected as the Prestigious Host for the Enlarged FIFA Club World Cup

**United States to Host 32-Team Club World Cup in 2025**

The United States has been chosen as the host country for the Club World Cup in 2025, marking the first time the FIFA tournament will feature 32 teams. Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Chelsea have already earned their places as recent Champions League winners, and they will be part of the expanded tournament lineup. This event will serve as a test for stadiums and operations one year before the 2026 World Cup, which will be jointly hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

**A Proven Leader in Hosting Global Events**

FIFA’s decision to select the United States as the host country for the 2025 Club World Cup was based on the country’s track record as a proven leader in staging global events. This choice will also allow FIFA to maximize synergies with the delivery of the 2026 World Cup. The Club World Cup is scheduled to take place in June-July 2025.

**Seattle Sounders and the North American Champion**

As the 2022 champion of the North American soccer region CONCACAF, the Seattle Sounders have secured their place in the Club World Cup lineup. The United States, as the host nation, will also have another entry in the tournament. This provides an exciting opportunity for American soccer fans to witness top European teams competing in competitive games, rather than just preseason friendly matches, which have been taking place in the United States for many years.

**Qualification Path for Clubs**

FIFA announced in March that the basic qualification path for clubs to participate in the Club World Cup is to win a continental championship in any of the four years from 2021 to 2024 in the five main confederations: Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Europe, with 12 teams, and South America, with six teams, are the only continents with more than four entries. Additional places will be awarded based on team rankings derived from results over a four-year span in continental competitions.

**Expanding the Club World Cup for Broad Appeal**

The current seven-team Club World Cup for continental champions, played annually, has limited broad appeal. FIFA has long desired to stage a full-sized tournament every four years. The expanded version of the Club World Cup in 2025 presents a significant commercial opportunity for FIFA to explore new broadcasting models, attract new sponsors, and provide hundreds of millions of dollars in prize money for the participating clubs. The influential European Club Association has expressed its hope for discussions with FIFA regarding the management of commercial rights.

**Tournament Format and Final Edition in Saudi Arabia**

The format for the three-week-long Club World Cup in 2025 has yet to be finalized. One option under consideration is guaranteeing the 32 teams a minimum of three games each by organizing them into eight groups of four. The eight group winners would then advance to the quarterfinals. This format would result in a tournament consisting of 56 games if a third-place match is included. The current annual Club World Cup format will continue with a final edition scheduled for December in Saudi Arabia.

**FIFA’s Efforts to Revive the Club World Cup**

Reviving the Club World Cup has been a priority for FIFA president Gianni Infantino since his election in 2016. However, his initial project plan was blocked due to concerns raised by European soccer officials. FIFA had previously secured agreement for a 24-team event to launch in June 2021 in China, but it had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic before commercial details were finalized. FIFA then returned with a fresh Club World Cup plan after the collapse of the Super League project in April 2021, which caused significant turmoil within UEFA, the governing body for European soccer.

**Other Qualified Teams for the 2025 Club World Cup**

In addition to Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea, and the Seattle Sounders, several other teams have already qualified for the 2025 Club World Cup. These teams include Palmeiras and Flamengo from Brazil, Monterrey and León from Mexico, Al-Ahly from Egypt, Wydad Casablanca from Morocco, Urawa Red Diamonds from Japan, and Al Hilal from Saudi Arabia.

Overall, the United States hosting the expanded 32-team Club World Cup in 2025 presents a unique opportunity for soccer fans to witness top European and international clubs competing in competitive matches. With FIFA’s focus on maximizing commercial opportunities and developing new broadcasting models, this tournament promises to be an exciting and highly anticipated event in the world of soccer.

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