Auckland City qualify for revamped FIFA Club World Cup to be held in 2025

Auckland City have been confirmed as one of the 32 clubs to take part in a new-look FIFA Club World Cup tournament to be staged in the United States in mid-2025.

The 32-club competition will replace the current version of the FIFA Club World Cup.

Under the new tournament structure approved by the FIFA Council at their December meeting in Saudi Arabia, one club from Oceania will qualify for the tournament which is expected to be held four-yearly, a year ahead of the men’s FIFA World Cup.

Main photo: FIFA president Gianni Infantino (left) and his FIFA Council colleagues confirm details for the new-look competition at their meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Qualification is based on results in the OFC Champions League over the past four seasons.

In its announcement, FIFA said: “While the 2024 edition of the OFC Champions League remains to be played, of the teams that may potentially participate, there is no mathematical possibility for any to overtake Auckland City FC based on the points gained by that team over the qualification period to date.”

Auckland City … current holders of the OFC Champions League title. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Using its qualification criteria, 19 of the 32 clubs are already confirmed for the first FIFA Club World Cup with the new format.

In February/March 2024, Auckland City and Wellington Olympic meet in a two-legged play-off to decide which club represents New Zealand at the OFC Champions League tournament to be held in Tahiti in May.

The winner of the OFC Champions League will qualify for a new annual competition, called Coupe Intercontinentale de la FIFA (FIFA Intercontinental Cup).

The competition will be staged in late 2024 with the final on December 18.

READ MORE: Pathway confirmed for New Zealand clubs in new annual FIFA competition >>>>

Details of revamped FIFA Club World Cup

The first 32-club tournament will be staged from June 15 – July 13, 2025, in the United States.

Its official title will be Mundial de Clubes FIFA (FIFA Club World Cup).

Qualification for the tournament has two routes — one is via Champions League tournaments held by the confederations, and the other is “ranking pathway” methodology that tracks ongoing performance in those competitions.

FIFA says its “ranking pathway” will ensure “the highest quality possible based on sporting criteria over the most recent four seasons.”

Using these criteria, a number of clubs are already confirmed for the inaugural tournament (highlighted in bold):


Four teams to participate.

Via champions pathway (CAF Champions League) — 3 teams
2020/21 and 2022-23: Al Ahly (Egypt)
2021/22: Wydad (Morocco)
2023/24: TBC
Via ranking pathway – 1 team TBC


Four teams to participate

Via champions pathway (AFC Champions League) — 3 teams
2021: Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia)
2022: Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan)
2023/24: TBC
Via ranking pathway – 1 team TBC


Twelve teams to participate

Via champions pathway (UEFA Champions League) — 4 teams
2020/21: Chelsea (England)
2021/22: Real Madrid (Spain)
2022/23: Manchester City (England)
2023/24: TBC

Via ranking pathway — 8 teams
Bayern München (Germany)
Paris Saint-Germain (France)
FC Internazionale (Italy)
Porto (Portugal)
Benfica (Portugal)
10 TBC
11 TBC
12 TBC

North & Central America, Caribbean

Four teams to participate

Via champions pathway (Concacaf Champions Cup)
2021: Monterrey (Mexico)
2022: Seattle Sounders (United States)
2023: Club León (Mexico)
2024: TBC


One team to participate

Via ranking pathway
Auckland City (New Zealand)

South America

Six teams to participate

Via champions pathway (CONMEBOL Libertadores) — 4 teams
2021: Palmeiras (Brazil)
2022: Flamengo (Brazil)
2023: Fluminense (Brazil)
2024: TBC

Via ranking pathway — 2 teams

FIFA Club World Cup … new format from 2025. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Tournament format

The format of the competition will be same used as for the last men’s and women’s FIFA World Cups, except there will be no play-off for third place.

  • 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-off

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said:

“Clubs play a fundamental role in world football, and the FIFA Club World Cup 2025 will be a major milestone in providing clubs from all confederations with a fitting stage on which to shine at the highest level of the game.

“This will be an open competition based on sporting merit that will play a key role as part of our efforts to make football truly global.”

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