Fifa launch another competition
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By Tony Attwood
As you may have realized, Fifa are becoming ever more active in organizing events in order to try and avoid any rebirth of the Super League idea, or indeed any enquiry into exactly how Fifa operates and where all the money goes. The point is, that if clubs do begin to get fed up with Fifa and Uefa’s overlordship of the game, they will be excluded from more and more Fifa and Uefa-driven events.
So now we have the latest one: The 32-team FIFA Club World Cup. Yes, just when you thought it might be safe to go on holiday, along comes another jamboree, this time in 2025. It will all take place in the United States of America.
Fifa has said the selection of the United States as the nation to hold the event was down to “infrastructure and service requirements, as well as broader strategic objectives for the tournament” and thus nothing at all with which country offered Fifa and its officials the most money. Not at all. Absolutely not. I don’t think I can make that clearer; people might have alleged that Qatar was given the world cup in return for bribes and backhanders, but you can absolutely forget that sort of comment with this competition. Just because we never heard about it until it was announced as a done deal, there is nothing amiss with the due process. Got that? Good.
The aim, we are told is to provide “synergy” the summer before the 2026 World Cup which is to be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
So this new venture now replaces the old Club World Cup of seven teams (one from each continent except Antarctica but adding in central America to make up the numbers).
Thus the Mighty Infantino aims to expand his control, and thus tells us that, “The FIFA Club World Cup 2025 will be the pinnacle of elite professional men’s club football, and with the required infrastructure in place together with massive local interest, the United States is the ideal host to kick off this new, global tournament.
“With some of the world’s top clubs already qualified, fans from every continent will be bringing their passion and energy to the United States in two years’ time for this significant milestone in our mission to make football truly global.”
Europe has got 12 places in the finals, including Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester City and of course, the national league programmes will be messed about with yet further to accommodate the festival. (And I expect Chelsea to be given help to rise up the league so that they can qualify as a top club). And lo and behold it will happen every four years. The format will be the usual set of group games each comprising four teams with the top two or each group going into the last 16.
So what we now have is the Champions League expanding, and the second and third-tier competitions in Europe expanding, and now another new competition.
This can all, of course, be seen as an insightful and progressive move, bringing more footballing entertainment to the world and allowing more and more people to see the best players. Or it could be seen as a way of Fifa clinging onto power through developing an ever greater network of competitions, in the face of the developments by Saudi Arabia. Or it could be a way of deflecting any thought that the activities of Manchester City are anything to do with Fifa and Uefa.
And of course it is certainly a good way to make sure that no one starts talking about the issues that arise from such topics as several clubs being under the same ownership, or referees behaving in ways that really have nothing to do with the well-being of the game.
Indeed with more and more competitions in place, there is ever less likelihood that any major news outlets will start questioning what the organizations that run these competitions are up to.
Mind you, the way things are going, it wouldn’t surprise me if the security of future Uefa and Fifa events isn’t handed over to the Wagner Group.
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