FIFA confirms dates and participants for 2025 Club World Cup

FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, announced key details for the 2025 Club World Cup, set to be hosted in the United States. The tournament will feature 32 teams for the first time ever, formatted in a traditional World Cup-style tournament.

The Club World Cup will be played from June 15 to July 13, 2025, in host cities across the United States. The teams will come from all six of FIFA’s confederations, qualifying based on a combination of confederation tournament results (“champions pathway”) and FIFA’s new ranking system (“rankings pathway”). The confirmed participants are as follows:

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Africa (four teams)

Via champions pathway (CAF Champions League) – 4 teams:

  • 2020/21 and 2022-23: Al Ahly SC ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ
  • 2021/22: Wydad AC ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
  • 2023/24: TBC

Via ranking pathway โ€“ 1 team:

  • TBC

Asia (four teams)

Via champions pathway (AFC Champions League) โ€“ 3 teams:

  • 2021: Al Hilal SFC ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
  • 2022: Urawa Red Diamonds ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต
  • 2023/24: TBC

Via ranking pathway โ€“ 1 team:

  • TBCย 

Europe (twelve teams)

Via champions pathway (UEFA Champions League) โ€“ 4 teams:

  • 2020/21: Chelsea FC ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ
  • 2021/22: Real Madrid CF ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ
  • 2022/23: Manchester City FC ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ
  • 2023/24: TBC

Via ranking pathway โ€“ 8 teams:

  • FC Bayern Munich ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช
  • Paris Saint-Germain FC ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท
  • Inter Milan ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡นย 
  • FC Porto ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น
  • SL Benfica ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น
  • TBC
  • TBC
  • TBCย 

North & Central America, Caribbean โ€“ 4 teams

Via champions pathway (Concacaf Champions Cup):

  • 2021: CF Monterrey ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ
  • 2022: Seattle Sounders FC ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
  • 2023: Club Leรณn ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ
  • 2024: TBCย 

As the host nation, the United States will have an additional team qualify, with details to be announced later.

Oceania โ€“ 1 team

Via ranking pathway:

  • Auckland City FC ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ

South America โ€“ 6 teams

Via champions pathway (CONMEBOLย Libertadores) โ€“ 4 teams:

  • 2021: SE Palmeiras ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท
  • 2022: CR Flamengo ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท
  • 2023: Fluminense FC ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท
  • 2024: TBC

Via ranking pathway โ€“ 2 teams

  • TBC
  • TBCย 

Tournament formatย 

The format of the competition will follow the same format as the 2022 FIFA World Cup:

  • A group stage composed of eight groups of four teams per group playing in a single-game round-robin format
  • The top two teams per group progressing to the round of 16
  • A direct single-match knockout stage from the round of 16 to the final
  • No third-place play-offย 

The schedule will be a significant challenge. The tournament is set to be played in the midst of the 2025 Major League Soccer season, as well as during the 2025 Concacaf Gold Cup, which was already set to expand to 24 teams and include teams from Conmebol, UEFA, CAF, and AFC as a test run for the 2026 World Cup.

MLS and Liga MX are also still expected to play in the Leagues Cup, a World Cup-style tournament that sees both leagues pause their league schedules for a month. This means that potentially four separate tournaments could be played simultaneously in the United States in the summer of 2025.

It’s an intriguing prospect for soccer fans, a headache for schedule makers, and a significantly burden on already overworked players.

Author: Ben Wrightis the Director of Soccer Content and a Senior MLS Contributor for Broadway Sports covering Nashville SC and the US National Team. Previously Ben was the editor and a founder of Speedway Soccer, where he has covered Nashville SC and their time in USL before journeying to Major League Soccer since 2018. Raised in Louisville, KY Ben grew up playing before a knee injury ended his competitive career. When he is not talking soccer he is probably producing music, drinking coffee or hanging out with his wife and kids. Mastodon

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