FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in an interview with AFP on Thursday that he strongly backed an expanded Club World Cup tournament as a way of boosting international competition between clubs.
“We are focusing on world competition in the Club World Cup, for example, to have not only one club present from each confederation, but more participation because we need to boost club football all over the world,” he said in Doha.
There are two Club World Cups being played this year, with Qatar currently hosting the edition delayed from 2020 that concludes on Thursday when Bayern Munich face Mexican side Tigres before another seven-team edition goes ahead in Japan in December.
A lucrative, revamped 24-team Club World Cup, including eight sides from Europe, was due to be played in China this year.
But the expanded competition will not now start until a later date after the delayed Euro 2020 and the Copa America tournaments were pencilled in for June and July.
An enlarged tournament could help address growing calls for “super leagues” of top regional and global clubs — leading European clubs are believed to be keen to create a European Super League.
Infantino did not say on Thursday when the new Club World Cup format might begin.
(But) we have already decided that the new Club World Cup will be featuring 24 teams from all different continents,” he told AFP.
“We will still have to find the right slot for the new Club World Cup with 24 teams. It’s obviously not an easy challenge in this period where everything is congested anyway.
“If we need to wait one year longer then we’ll do that.”