Chelsea secure new-look Club World Cup berth in 2025 after FIFA approval
FIFA have announced the qualification criteria for the new-look Club World Cup in 2025 and have all but confirmed Chelsea’s involvement in the tournament.
The Blues will take part in the new 32-team format after winning the Champions League in 2021.
Chelsea, along with Real Madrid, who won it in 2022, will be at the event that includes winners up until 2024.
Additional European teams will be selected by club rankings, also known as coefficient rankings, which could see Manchester City take part even without winning the Champions League.
Meanwhile, champions from other equivalent tournaments like the African Champions League and Copa Libertadores in South America will also qualify for FIFA’s revamped club tournament.
A cap of two clubs per country will be enforced unless more than two clubs win the Champions League or equivalent competitions.
The competition will undoubtedly boost Chelsea and Real Madrid’s bottom line and China are rumoured to be fighting to host the first edition of the tournament. It will, however, only add to an already crammed fixture list for elite players.
There will also remain a yearly Club World Cup format that will leave the European champions playing just one match instead of the current two.
From 2024, a Champions League winner will automatically qualify for a final and play the winner of ‘intercontinental play-offs’ between the winners of club competitions coming from other continents.
In 2026, an expanded 48-team tournament will involve four-team groups and a last-32 knockout round, taking place in the United States, Canada and Mexico.