FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, will stage an expanded 32-team men’s Club World Cup in 2025, its president Gianni Infantino announced today (December 16).

The body also hopes to launch a women’s edition, with both competitions to be held every four years.

The current version of the Club World Cup is held annually and features seven teams from six confederations.

It includes the winners of the elite club competitions in Europe, South America, Africa, Asia, North and Central America and the Caribbean, and Oceania, with a club from the host nation typically given the seventh spot.

The new format is expected to begin in June 2025 and serve as an end-of-season tournament.

The competition would be played in the same slot where FIFA has previously held the Confederations Cup for international teams, a year before the World Cup.

Infantino was speaking after a FIFA Council meeting was held in Qatar today ahead of Sunday’s (December 18) World Cup final.

He said: "The details of the location still need to be discussed but it has been agreed and decided that a 32-team Club World Cup tournament will go ahead making it like a World Cup. The first edition will take place in 2025 in the summer.

"During that slot where in other years it would be the Confederations Cup, it will be slightly longer because there are 32 teams so it will last a bit longer but they will be the best teams in the world who will all be invited to participate.

"But all of the details will be developed in due course and we will decide where it will take place as well over the next few weeks or months in consultation with all of the stakeholders.”

FIFA is yet to discuss the plans with major domestic leagues which could be opposed to the idea due to an already congested calendar.

In 2018, FIFA proposed to expand the Club World Cup to 24 teams and hold it every four years in China from 2021, but those plans were put on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Infantino confirmed the 2022 Club World Cup will be held in Morocco from February 1 to 11 next year and feature seven teams, including European champions Real Madrid.

At its council meeting, FIFA also confirmed that its revenue at the end of the four-year World Cup cycle will stand at $7.5 billion – $1 billion more than budgeted.

The FIFA Council additionally approved the budget for the 2023-2026 cycle, which will see revenue of $11 billion, of which a “substantially increased proportion” will be allocated to soccer investment, amounting to $9.7 billion.

Meanwhile, Infantino revealed that the governing body will look at potentially altering the group stage format for the 2026 World Cup to revert to a traditional model.

With the next edition of the World Cup to expand to 48 teams, the FIFA Council in 2017 chose to split nations into 16 groups of three, moving away from the long-standing format of having four teams in each group.

However, after a thrilling end to the group stages in Qatar, Infantino said it is something the organization will discuss again.

Infantino said: "I have to say that after this World Cup and the success of the groups of four, and looking as well at some other competitions like the Euros for example where you have 24 teams and the top two plus the best third ones go to the next stage.

"Here, the groups of four have been absolutely incredible in the sense that until the last minute of the last match, you wouldn't know who goes through. We will have to revisit or at least rediscuss the format – whether we go for 16 groups of three or 12 groups of four. This is something that will certainly be on the agenda in the next meetings."

Another decision taken at the FIFA Council meeting will see the introduction of a new friendly 'World Series' tournament to take place in even years involving four teams, each selected from four different confederations.

It was also announced that the hosts for the men's World Cup in 2030 will be decided in 2024 and the Women's World Cup for 2031 will be decided in 2025.

As well as a women's Club World Cup, Infantino is keen to create a new Futsal Women's World Cup and expand the Olympic Games Women's tournament from 12 to 16 teams.

It was announced just before the World Cup last month (November) that Infantino will stand unopposed and be re-elected as president of FIFA for a third term next year.

The 52-year-old said he intends to stay on as president until 2031 and will seek another four-year term.

FIFA confirmed Infantino’s spell in charge between 2016 and 2019 – when he completed an unfinished term started by predecessor Sepp Blatter – does not count as a term of office against the 12-year limit.

Image: Alex Pantling/Getty Images