(Football news) FIFA will pay football clubs a combined £298.74m ($355m) for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups, an increase from the combined £170.58m ($209m) paid for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The decision has been a central component of a new Memorandum of Understanding between Fifa and the European Clubs’ Association which is valid until 2030 and will first be in effect in the next World Cup which will take place in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The announcement was made in a general assembly in Budapest with FIFA president Gianni Infantino and UEFA counterpart Aleksander Ceferin present. The two bodies had been in negotiations for months, initially over Infantino’s desire to host a biennial World Cup which was met with significant opposition. As a result an expanded 32 team Club World Cup has been agreed to featuring 12 European teams with Uefa and ECA guaranteeing that it will be on the calendar from 2025.
There is also an agreement for a Women’s Club World Cup although the format has not yet been finalised. As per a new agreed international match calendar, there will also be an annual match between the Champions League winner and the winner of an intercontinental playoff. FIFA President Gianni Infantino said “This is a significant day for the future of football and its long-term stability. We are very happy to renew and strengthen our cooperation agreement with ECA, an important stakeholder representing clubs from all over Europe.
“To have the new international match calendar endorsed by ECA provides the necessary balance between club and national team football. We have exciting projects ahead, including the new Fifa Club World Cup in 2025 and the new Fifa Women’s Club World Cup. A close collaboration with clubs in Europe, and the rest of the world, will be essential for the success of those events.”
The format of the Club World Cup is yet to be decided but the previous four Champions League winners will automatically qualify while ECA chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi said that his organisation (Paris Saint-Germain) and European governing body UEFA have a close relationship.
“In this next era of the ECA, I am determined that we will be recognized for driving financial prosperity and distribution for the entire football pyramid, not just the elite,” Al-Khelaifi said. “Thinking back to the sorry events in April 2021 – which we should not forget – the ECA’s relationship with Uefa has changed completely in the past two years. Today, it is founded on trust, respect and common interest. As a result, we are both much stronger. Thank you President Ceferin.”