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Why The Next FIFA Club World Cup Will Be A Game-Changer for Global Football?

Roger Hampel

FIFA Club World Cup
FIFA Club World Cup

Ornella Desirée Bellia, the Director of Professional Football Relations and Development at FIFA, during the World Football Summit Asia 2023 (FOT: World Football Summit)

The landscape of international club football is on the cusp of a monumental transformation. With the final whistle of today’s clash between Manchester City and Fluminense, we bid farewell to the familiar format of the FIFA Club World Cup, and eagerly anticipate its bold rebirth. In 2025, the tournament will re-emerge from its hiatus, not just expanded, but wholly reimagined, as confirmed by FIFA in a visionary plan that transcends geographical and cultural boundaries.

“The vision to create a more competitive and appealing ecosystem where not just a few clubs from a specific part of the world are running the show, but we want to create an ecosystem where at least 50 clubs from all around the world are able to compete at that level on and off the pitch and are able to dream big. In our vision as football's governing body, we have to do our best to make sure that everybody is put in a condition at least to compete at that level - so the FIFA Club World Cup is just a game changer." - declared Ornella Desirée Bellia, the Director of Professional Football Relations and Development at FIFA, during the World Football Summit Asia 2023.

This isn’t merely an increase in quantity, but a profound statement of inclusivity and ambition. By elevating the number of competing teams from seven to 32, FIFA is democratizing the dreams of clubs worldwide, offering new stages for their narratives to unfold.

Ornella Bellia passionately articulates, “It’s going to change completely club football at the elite level, definitely, giving more possibility to more clubs from all around the world, not just from Europe.”

Moreover, FIFA is implementing the Club Benefit Program which is a commitment to redistributing wealth within the football family. Following the World Cup, $209 million has been disbursed to over 440 clubs globally, with an even more impressive $355 million earmarked for redistribution after the next World Cup in North America.

The stories of a Costa Rican club receiving over a million dollars, or smaller football nations witnessing their local clubs benefitting from FIFA’s largesse, underscore a future where football’s prosperity is shared.

As Ornella Bellia concludes, this isn’t about creating a new competition; it’s about scripting a new chapter in football’s history – one that celebrates diversity, champions equality, and respects the collective spirit of the game.

FIFA’s initiatives resonate with a clear message: the future of football lies not in the hands of a select few, but in a global community united by a shared love for the game. The 2025 FIFA Club World Cup isn’t just a tournament; it’s the dawn of a more inclusive and dynamic era of club football. And with these profound changes, FIFA is ensuring that the heart of the game beats evenly across the world – a genuine game changer for the sport.

FIFA Club World Cup
FIFA Club World Cup


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