FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, has named Saudi Arabia as the host nation for the next edition of the Club World Cup and revealed details for the new format of the competition in 2025.

The FIFA Council yesterday (February 14) unanimously selected Saudi Arabia as hosts for the 2023 edition of the clubs' tournament, which will be held from December 12 to 22.

This represents the second major soccer competition landed by the Middle East nation this month, after officially being confirmed as hosts for the 2027 Asian Cup. 

This year’s Club World Cup will continue to be played under a seven-team format.

The 2022 edition (delayed until earlier this month) was staged recently in Morocco with Spanish giants Real Madrid winning their fifth title after a 5-3 win over Saudi side Al-Hilal in the final in Rabat last Saturday (February 11).  

In December, FIFA president Gianni Infantino confirmed that the Club World Cup will be expanded to 32 teams in 2025, with the first edition set to take place in June and July of that year.

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The global body yesterday announced the slot allocation for each continental confederation, with UEFA (Europe) to feature the most representatives with 12 clubs.

There will additionally be six teams from CONMEBOL (South America), four each from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Confederation of African Football (CAF), and CONCACAF (North and Central America and the Caribbean), one club from the Oceania Football Confederation, and one team from the host country.

The competition will be played in the Northern Hemisphere's summer.

Meanwhile, the FIFA Council yesterday also approved the organization’s 2022 annual report which confirmed record revenue of $7.6 billion during the 2019‑2022 cycle and a projected $11 billion income during the 2023‑2026 cycle.

Revenue generated by the four-year cycle of the Qatar World Cup (including an extra five months because of the winter schedule) is up by $1.1 billion from the $6.4 billion for the previous cycle in Russia.

The extra income was largely boosted by sponsorship deals during the period, with several new agreements also announced on the eve of the tournament’s opener in November.

Infantino said: “FIFA’s unprecedented investment in football is the result of our solid financial transparency and stands as a concrete example of how we are aiming to make football truly global.

“The resounding success of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar has been key to the organization’s ability to fulfill its mission in relation to our member associations and the world of football, despite the multiple challenges we faced during the past cycle, not least the Covid-19 pandemic.”

For the 2026 World Cup, which will expand from 32 teams to 48, FIFA will have several top-tier sponsorship spots to fill as Coca-Cola, Adidas, and Wanda are the only partners to have extended their respective deals for that competition.

The soccer body additionally confirmed that the host nations for the 2026 World Cup, the US, Mexico, and Canada, will qualify automatically for the tournament. Their slots will therefore be deducted from the overall allocation of six assigned to Concacaf.

The governing body also revealed when hosts for future World Cups will be selected. The hosts for the 2027 Women’s World Cup will be chosen in the second quarter of 2024 (with bid regulations for approval in March 2023), while hosts for the 2030 men’s edition will be announced in Q3 2024 (with bid regulations for approval in June 2023).

The 2031 Women’s World Cup will be allocated in Q2 2025 (with bid regulations for approval in Q2 2024).