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FIFA Club World Cup

'Could have serious consequences' - Player union FIFPRO reveals FIFA did not consult them before 'shortsighted' Club World Cup expansion

5:01 AM MYT 17/12/2022
Infantino FIFA
FIFPRO has been left surprised after FIFA announced plans to expand the men's Club World Cup and introduce a women's version of the competition.
  • Fears of fixture congestion already
  • New plans could make things worse
  • FIFPRO are unhappy

WHAT HAPPENED? On Friday, president Gianni Infantino announced that the Club World Cup will be expanded from seven teams to 32 in 2025 to make it more like a World Cup. Plans for a new Women’s Club World Cup were also made public. FIFPRO have now released a statement questioning the organisation's care for player welfare.

WHAT THEY SAID: "FIFPRO took note with surprise of today’s decisions by the FIFA Council concerning the international match calendars for men’s and women’s football that could have serious consequences for and aggravate pressure on the welfare and employment of players.

“Despite an understanding FIFPRO reached with FIFA last week that a joint negotiation of the international match calendar (IMC) would take place before the FIFA Congress in March 2023, these decisions were taken unilaterally without seriously consulting, let alone agreeing, with the players.

“The announcements today of a new format for the Club World Cup as of 2025, new principles for the Men’s and Women’s IMC post-2024 and 2023 respectively, including the “rolling over” of the current women’s IMC into 2024/25 - which will cause severe congestion during the Olympic competition year - have created new conditions that further increase pressure on players’ workload and their jobs.

“Once again, decisions to scale competitions without implementing appropriate safeguards are short-sighted and pay no attention to players’ health and performance. This decision once more shows that key stakeholders of the game are not being appropriately involved in decision-making of football, even when it concerns the core of their fundamental rights."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: There seems to be a growing desire from FIFA to introduce as much new football as possible without thinking about the impact it could have on players. This latest news follows the decision to expand the 2026 World Cup to a 48-team tournament.

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WHAT NEXT FOR FIFA? It remains to be seen if FIFA will hold firm on their plans or if they will at least consult players and FIFPRO before progressing further.