Club World Cup 2025 in USA: Confirmed teams, format, schedule, dates for FIFA tournament with expanded field

On December 17, 2023, FIFA unveiled more details regarding the new look of the Club World Cup, with the first edition of the new competition to be contested in the United States in the summer of 2025.

The competition, which has been contested annually since 2000, will move to a four-year cycle to be played the year before the FIFA World Cup. As such, the Club World Cup has also been expanded to a larger field to accommodate the continental champions from the entirety of the previous four years, plus a few additional participants.

In its place on an annual basis will be the newly minted FIFA Intercontinental Cup, which will keep the semblance of the Club World Cup’s old format along with a few tweaks. The name is taken from the defunct annual match played between the champions of Europe and South America, which was played for the last time in 2004.

The Sporting News has all the details of the coming changes to the FIFA tournaments as the world governing body hopes to craft a club competition with the gravity and weight of its international sister tournament.

MORE: All the matchups, dates, and venues for the 2024 Copa America in the United States

When is the 2025 Club World Cup? Schedule for tournament

The 2025 Club World Cup will feature a 32-team field with teams from all around the globe, to be contested from June 15, 2025 to July 13, 2025. An exact schedule has yet to be determined.

The dates were worked around the international match calendar, which allows time between the end of the competition and the beginning of European domestic club seasons.

However, with North and South American leagues playing a calendar-year schedule, clubs from CONCACAF and CONMEBOL will have to sort out how to fit the competition into their fixture lists.

Teams in 2025 Club World Cup

All but two confederations were awarded four slots. UEFA was given 12 spots, with CONMEBOL granted six and OFC given one, while the host nation will also get one additional participant via a to-be-determined qualification method.

Clubs will qualify for the tournament by winning a continental title within each four-year cycle. Should a club win multiple continental crowns, the runners-up from that year will also qualify.

To begin the new format in the 2025 tournament, FIFA is back-dating its qualifying method, which will see some clubs qualify despite having already secured past Club World Cup berths.

Club Confederation Nation Qualified Via
Al Hilal AFC Saudi Arabia 2021 AFC Champions League winners
Urawa Red Diamonds AFC Japan 2022 AFC Champions League winners
TBD AFC  — 2023/24 AFC Champions League winners
TBD AFC  — Highest-ranking unqualified AFC club*
Al Ahly CAF Egypt 2021/22 CAF Champions League winners
Wydad Casablanca CAF Morocco 2021/22 CAF Champions League winners
TBD CAF  — 2023/24 CAF Champions League winners
TBD CAF  — Highest-ranking unqualified CAF club**
Monterrey CONCACAF Mexico 2021 CONCACAF Champions League winners
Seattle Sounders CONCACAF USA 2022 CONCACAF Champions League winners
Club Leon CONCACAF Mexico 2023 CONCACAF Champions League winners
TBD CONCACAF  — 2024 CONCACAF Champions League winners
TBD CONCACAF USA Club from host nation
Palmeiras CONMEBOL Brazil 2021 Copa Libertadores winners
Flamengo CONMEBOL Brazil 2022 Copa Libertadores winners
Fluminense CONMEBOL Brazil 2023 Copa Libertadores winners
TBD CONMEBOL  — 2024 Copa Libertadores winners
TBD CONMEBOL  — Highest-ranking unqualified CONMEBOL club
TBD CONMEBOL  — 2nd highest-ranking unqualified CONMEBOL club
Auckland City OFC New Zealand Highest-ranking OFC club across four-year period
Chelsea UEFA England 2020/21 UEFA Champions League winners
Real Madrid UEFA Spain 2021/22 UEFA Champions League winners
Man City UEFA England 2022/23 UEFA Champions League winners
TBD UEFA  — 2023/24 UEFA Champions League winners
Bayern Munich UEFA Germany Highest-ranking unqualified UEFA club
PSG UEFA France 2nd highest-ranking unqualified UEFA club
Inter Milan UEFA Italy 3rd highest-ranking unqualified UEFA club
Porto UEFA Portugal 4th highest-ranking unqualified UEFA club
Benfica UEFA Portugal 5th highest-ranking unqualified UEFA club
TBD UEFA  — 6th highest-ranking unqualified UEFA club
TBD UEFA  — 7th highest-ranking unqualified UEFA club
TBD UEFA  — 8th highest-ranking unqualified UEFA club

*Because the AFC moved its continental tournament from a calendar-year schedule to a European-league schedule, there are only three title winners from this four-year cycle. Thus, an additional qualifier will be awarded via the confederation’s club ranking.
**Because Al Ahly won the CAF Champions League twice in this four-year cycle (2021/22 and 2022/23), an additional qualifier will be awarded via the confederation’s club ranking.

How does FIFA rank clubs for Club World Cup qualification?

FIFA approved its newest club ranking system in late 2023, which will be heavily utilised for qualification to the Club World Cup.

Starting from the group stage of the confederation’s relevant premier club competition, teams will earn three points for a group-stage win and one point for a draw, plus three points for progression to each successive knockout stage.

However, there is one exception. For this competition only, UEFA will use its current coefficient ranking system. As per thatsystem, European clubs will earn two points for a group-stage win and one point for a draw, plus four points for qualification for the group stage, five points for qualification for the Round of 16, and one point for progress to each stage of the competition thereafter.

2025 Club World Cup host cities

The host cities for the 2025 Club World Cup have yet to be determined.

The Sporting News will update this page once some of the venues and locations have been decided.

2025 Club World Cup format

Every four years, the 32-team FIFA Club World Cup will be contested over the course of a month, and be formatted with a group stage and a knockout stage that will be familiar to many football fans, as it has been utilised for both the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Champions League in the past (although both systems are set to be replaced in the coming edition of those competitions).

The 32 teams will be drawn into a group stage featuring eight groups of four, with the top two teams advancing to the knockout stage.

From there, 16 teams will contest the single-elimination knockout stage, progressing from the Round of 16 through to the final. Notably, there will be no third-place playoff in this tournament.

What is the FIFA Intercontinental Cup?

With the Club World Cup moving to a four-year cycle, just like the international World Cup, FIFA has crafted a brand new tournament — based on an old one — to be played on an annual basis.

The FIFA Intercontinental Cup will debut in 2024, which will be similar (but not an exact replica) of the current, soon-to-be replaced Club World Cup.

In it, the global continental champions will play through a single-elimination knockout tournament. Unlike the current Club World Cup, where the CONMEBOL and UEFA champions are given byes to the semifinals, the UEFA champion will be immediately awarded a place in the Intercontinental Cup final, against the qualifier who emerges from the earlier rounds of the competition.

The competition will be formatted as follows:

Round 1 (Date TBD): 

  • AFC Champions League winner OR* CAF Champions League winner vs. OFC Champions League winner

Round  (Date TBD): 

  • Round 1 winner vs. AFC Champions League winner OR* CAF Champions League winner
  • CONCACAF Champions Cup winner vs. CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores winner

Playoff (December 14, 2024):

  • Round 2 winner vs. Round 2 winner

Final (December 18, 2024):

  • Playoff winner vs. UEFA Champions League winner

*The AFC Champions League winner and CAF Champions League winner will rotate Round 1 and Round 2 qualification on an annual basis.

The name is taken from the defunct showpiece match played between the champions of Europe and South America, which ran from 1960 until 2004.

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