Sunday People


City will chase £150m prize pot in new Club World Cup

- By Simon Mullock

MANCHESTER CITY’S Champions League triumph means six-time Euro kings Liverpool will miss the proposed inaugural 32-team Club World Cup.

City have secured a place in FIFA’S new money-spinning tournament, scheduled to kick-off in the summer of 2025, after beating Inter Milan in Istanbul last week.

And with prize money expected to be in the region of £150million, the Blues would get the chance to add significan­tly to the staggering £294m they have banked for winning a Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup Treble.

Chelsea, European champions in 2021, and 2022 winners Real Madrid have also qualified.

Manchester United, Arsenal or Newcastle could add to the Premier League contingent by lifting the Champions League next season.

But Liverpool’s failure to finish in the top four means they will miss out on the prestige of competing with the world’s elite clubs in what will be a landmark event.

FIFA have drawn up plans that award qualifying places to the four Champions League winners from 2021-2024.

Eight more slots will be handed to European clubs by virtue of their UEFA coefficien­t.


But places in the tournament will be limited to just two per country – unless a nation is able to boast three different Champions League winners in the previous four years.

It means stellar names like Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Paris Saint-germain, Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund can still qualify through the back door by either winning the Champions League next season or boosting their coefficien­t by reaching the latter stages.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino (above) announced plans for the expansion of the Club World Cup in January. The current format sees seven teams from six confederat­ions around the world compete in an annual knockout tournament.

City will travel to Saudi Arabia in December hoping to add a world title to their Treble.

The revamped tournament would be staged every four years.

But there has been opposition to FIFA’S proposal. Some members of UEFA and the influentia­l European Club Associatio­n view it as an attack on the status of the Champions League as the world’s most prestigiou­s club competitio­n.


The ECA, which represents 330 of Europe’s most powerful clubs, refused to sign a memorandum of understand­ing when Infantino met with them during the World Cup in Qatar. The Premier League are also believed to have raised concerns about the tournament, while La Liga have threatened legal action to block it.

But the cash on offer is expected to ease many reservatio­ns after Real Madrid were handed just £4m for winning the last Club World Cup in February.

FIFA have also redrawn a schedule for the tournament to ease fears voiced by the players’ union FIFPRO that the increasing demands on their members will lead to injuries, fatigue and burnout.

The initial idea was for the tournament to be staged in its entirety in the United States in the summer of 2025.

It was seen as the perfect test event for a country that will host the World Cup the following summer along with Canada and Mexico.

An alternativ­e plan would see eight groups of four teams compete in the summer of 2025 with the top two in each qualifying for the finals. A straight knockout tournament would then be played before the start of the 2026-27 season.

As well as 12 European teams, the tournament would include six teams from CONMEBOL, including four Copa Libertador­es winners, four CONCACAF Champions League winners, four CAF Champions League winners, the highest-ranked club of four Champions League winners from OFC and one club from the host country.

 ?? ?? City will play in new global event after triumph in Istanbul
City will play in new global event after triumph in Istanbul

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