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FIFA announces 32-team Club World Cup from 2025

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The FIFA Council meeting in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah on Sunday agreed the qualifying criteria, confirming that a maximum of two clubs can qualify from one country for the new 32-team tournament.

England’s two places will go to recent Champions League winners Chelsea and Manchester City.

Until Sunday’s confirmation of qualifying criteria, Liverpool had a chance of qualifying based on their Champions League performances over the past three seasons.

Arsenal can qualify but only if they win the Champions League this season.

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The two club country cap is lifted if there are more than two Champions League winners from one country over the four-year qualifying cycle.

Europe will have 12 clubs in the 32-team tournament and the spaces are allocated based on performances in the Champions League over four seasons from 2020-21 up to and including this season.

Champions League winners during the four-year qualifying cycle qualify automatically which means Chelsea, Real Madrid, Man City have already booked their spaces for the tournament which will be played in the USA between June 15 and July 13, 2025.

FA chair Debbie Hewitt is on the FIFA Council and attended the meeting in person with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin attending remotely by videolink.

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Depending on prize money and the size of broadcast and marketing deals, participating clubs are expected to make about £50m from the tournament, which will be held every four years.The 12 European spaces are allocated according to the UEFA Champions League co-efficient.

Portuguese sides Porto and Benfica have qualified along with Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid due to their co-efficient rankings. Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan are also through.

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Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, German teams Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig, and Serie A sides Juventus, Napoli and Lazio are vying with Red Bull Salzburg for three or four of the remaining slots.

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Real Sociedad, PSV Eindhoven and FC Copenhagen are in the same situation as Arsenal and would need to win the Champions League this season in order to qualify.

From South America, Brazilian sides Palmeiras, Flamengo and Fluminense have qualified as champions, while Asian sides Al Hilal and Urawa Red Diamonds are also through.

Al Ahly and Wydad have similarly qualified from Africa, while Monterrey, Seattle Sounders and Club Leon are through from North America.

Oceania’s Auckland City have sealed progress with no other team in position to overtake their points tally.

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FIFA will confirm venues for the tournament in 2024, but they are all likely to be on the East Coast of the US as the Gold Cup is being held at the same time on the West Coast.

The tournament will be a classic World Cup format of 32 teams split into eight groups of four. The top two progress to the knockout stage, with the finalists playing a total of seven matches.

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