Players’ union challenges new-look FIFA Club World Cup due to launch in 2025

posted in: FIFA Club World Cup, News

The union representing Europe’s professional footballers is taking legal action against plans to launch the new-look FIFA Club World Cup for which Auckland City have qualified.

The players’ representatives say they are “challenging the legality of FIFA’s decisions to unilaterally set the international match calendar and, in particular, the decision to create and schedule the FIFA Club World Cup 2025”.

FIFPRO’s European unions, led by England’s Professional Footballers’ Association and France’s National Union of Professional Footballers, have submitted a legal claim to the Brussels Court of Commerce.

The PFA says if the expanded 32-club tournament goes ahead as scheduled from June 14 – July 13, 2025, in the United States, it will means players will get little rest between the end of the English Premier League on May 25 and the following season which starts in mid-August.

The union’s chief executive, Maheta Molango, said: “This is an important moment for players and for their rights as employees. Everyone across football knows that the fixture calendar is broken to the point that it has now become unworkable.”

FIFA have said they believe they are within their rights to set the parameters of competitions while “respecting the regulatory framework in place.”

FIFPRO’s legal claim asks the Brussels court to refer questions to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling.

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

Clubs who have qualified

So far, 29 clubs have secured their places at the 2025 tournament, with three more to be confirmed.

Of the three remaining qualifying spots, two will go to South American clubs and one will be reserved for a club from host nation United States.


Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco)
Al Ahly SC (Egypt)
Espérance Sportive (Tunisia)
Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)


Al Hilal SFC (Saudi Arabia)
Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan)
Ulsan (Korea Republic)
Al Ain (United Arab Emirates)


Chelsea FC (England)
Manchester City FC (England)
Real Madrid CF (Spain)
Atlético de Madrid (Spain)
FC Bayern München (Germany)
BV Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
FC Salzburg (Austria)
Paris Saint-Germain FC (France)
FC Internazionale Milano (Italy)
Juventus FC (Italy)
FC Porto (Portugal)
SL Benfica (Portugal)

North and Central America, Caribbean

CF Monterrey (Mexico)
Seattle Sounders FC (United States)
Club León (Mexico)
Pachuca (Mexico)


Auckland City (New Zealand)

South America

SE Palmeiras (Brazil)
CR Flamengo (Brazil)
Fluminense FC (Brazil)
River Plate (Argentina)

Auckland City

Auckland City have secured Oceania’s single spot with an unassailable lead in the OFC rankings.

READ MORE: Auckland City qualify for revamped FIFA Club World Cup to be held in 2025 >>>>

How to monitor qualifications

FIFA have created an online tool that provides an up-to-date list of clubs that have qualified for the 2025 tournament.

The tool also provides confederation rankings to see which clubs are best placed to qualify.

ONLINE TOOL: Qualifiers for the Mundial de Clubes FIFA >>>>

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.”

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

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