THE Bayern Munich-ALE was the last champion of the FIFA Club World Cup along the lines we know today. At least that is what guarantees the maximum entity of football, which had already announced in March 2019 a new format of the world cup with more clubs and reaffirmed the decision this week.
“We are focusing on the Club World Cup competition, for example, to have not only one club present from each confederation, but more participants, because we need to encourage club football worldwide,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino, in Qatar, where the competition was held.
In its current format, the competition features champion clubs from all six continental confederations: CONMEBOL (South America), CONCACAF (North, Central America and the Caribbean), UEFA (Europe), CAF (Africa), AFC (Asia) and OFC (Oceania), in addition to the host country representative.
Although the winner has the status of the best team in the world, the competition does not attract as much attention from European clubs, which value the European Champions League more for its competitiveness and high turnover. In addition to the World Cup being considered a failure of criticism, public and technical quality.
To illustrate the European domain, just look at the latest editions. In the last 14 years, clubs in the old continent have won 13 times, Corinthians was the last South American to win the competition.
For this reason the entity decided to create a new Club World Cup, which will count on the participation of 24 clubs, including eight Europeans and six South Americans, and will be played every 4 years. The plan of the maximum entity of football was to start the competition in 2021, but the pandemic of the new coronavirus prevented the realization.
The idea of FIFA is to attract the attention of the clubs to the new competition with a good cash reward and a high level dispute. And the entity with a more competitive championship could achieve a higher profit, because it would receive more about television rights and get more sponsorship.
Plans for the start of the competition come up against the full football schedule due to the pandemic. FIFA plans to debut the new format in June 2022, the same year as the Qatar World Cup which will be played in December. Despite this, the FIFA president has already publicly admitted that the new Club World Cup may be in 2023.
“The real challenge for the future will be the schedule of international matches, the balance to be found between national team football and club football, which suffers even more now, in this covid season”, evaluated Infantino.
Will Brazilians participate?
Whether in 2022 or 2023, Brazilian football may be represented in a double dose in the new competition. Even without the classification criteria defined by Conmebol, Flamengo e Palm Trees were the last two champions of the Libertadores de América and would be close to competing in the competition.