The Club World Cup is not due to be played in December of this year, as originally planned on the international calendar. The conviction was left Friday by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, justifying that the various unfinished continental competitions, due to the covid-19 pandemic, influenced this decision.
“Some confederations will not complete their continental club tournaments this year. So it is unlikely that we can stick to the original plan. We are talking about doing [o Mundial de Clubes] in Qatar early next year. There are situations more important than football, such as health, and we must take them into account, ”he explained, at the end of the 70th annual congress of the organization which manages world football.
The next edition of the Club World Cup will be the last to be played in the current format, with the six continental champions and the champion of the host country.
From the next edition, in an attempt to increase the media coverage of the event, the tournament will have 24 clubs: eight from Europe, six from South America and the ten others spread across the four remaining continents. Infantino also said the new format will reduce the financial and sporting divide between European clubs and the rest of the world.
Still on the effects of covid-19 on world football, Infantino was concerned about the successive delays of the continental qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup – South America, North America and Asia have already seen their matches. postponed.
“I am worried and this is obviously a real problem, especially if the pandemic does not stop. We are in the hands of the health authorities, ”he lamented.
FIFA does not rule out championships in NBA model
In another context, Gianni Infantino was asked about the predictability of certain European championships and reflected on the current competition model.
In the NBA, for example, a regular phase is followed by a play-off with qualifying, which creates greater unpredictability in the final result of the championship. Why not use this model in championships like the Italian, whose champion has been Juventus for nine years? Infantino does not exclude the scenario.
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“Some people tell me it looks like the NBA and it’s not good for football, but I ask: do we really think the Italian League has been exciting for nine years? What kind of competition is there when 90% of teams just want to finish in second place? He asked.
Although assuming that it is not up to the FIFA President to say how football should be played, Infantino maintains that “it is legitimate for us to think that there are other ways of playing competitions”.