MARCH 28: For the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, clubs have received a combined £170.58 million ($209 million).
The measure is the central component of a new Memorandum of Understanding between FIFA and the Association of European Clubs, which will run until 2030.
The next men’s World Cup, hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico, will take place in June and July 2026.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino and his UEFA counterpart Aleksander Ceferin were present at the ECA general assembly in Budapest for the announcement.
It ends months of wrangling between the two bodies, which had initially disagreed over Infantino’s desire to host a biennial World Cup, an idea that met with strong opposition.
Instead, an expanded 32-team Club World Cup, featuring 12 European teams, was agreed, with the support of UEFA and the ECA guaranteeing that it will be included on the international calendar from 2025 despite opposition from the leagues and unrest among player unions.
Agreement has also been reached on the concept of a Women’s Club World Cup, although the format of this is yet to be decided.
In addition, the ECA has backed FIFA’s plan for a player welfare task force, which the players’ union Fifpro believes is essential.
The agreed new international match schedule will also include an annual match between the winner of the Champions League and the winner of an intercontinental playoff.
Infantino said: “This is an important day for the future of football and its long-term stability. We are very pleased to renew and strengthen our cooperation agreement with ECA, a major player representing clubs across Europe.”
“Having the new international match calendar supported by the ECA provides the necessary balance between club and national team football. We have exciting projects ahead of us, including the new FIFA Club World Cup in 2025 and the new World Cup FIFA Club Women’s Championship”.
“A close collaboration with clubs in Europe and the rest of the world will be essential for the success of these events.”
The precise format for the Club World Cup remains to be determined, but as the four winners will be included before the tournament until 2024, Chelsea are already guaranteed entry after winning the 2021 Champions League.
In addition, ECA President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who is also president of Paris St-Germain, referred to the close relationship between his organization and European governing body Uefa in his opening speech.
This included another rebuke to Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona, who are awaiting a ruling by the European Courts of Justice on UEFA’s monopoly position, which they believe has put up barriers in the path of his cherished concept of the European Super League.
“In this next era of ACE, I am determined that we will be recognized for driving financial prosperity and distribution for the entire football pyramid, not just the elite,” Al-Khelaifi said.
“Thinking of the unfortunate events of April 2021, which we must not forget, ECA’s relationship with Uefa has completely changed in the last two years.
“Today, it is based on trust, respect and common interest. As a result, we are both much stronger. Thank you, President Ceferin.”