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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Connor O'Neill

FIFA confirm major Club World Cup and international fixture changes that will affect Everton and Liverpool

FIFA has approved plans for the Club World Cup to be expanded to 32 teams from 2025.

The tournament was founded in 2000 and has traditionally been held during the season - lasting approximately a week - pitting the Champions League winners against teams that have won silverware in South America and the Middle East.

However, from 2025, the tournament, which featured just seven teams, will be moving to June and will feature 32 clubs. The four Champions League winners from 2021 to 2024 will qualify for the tournament, which guarantees a place for Chelsea and last year's victors Real Madrid, plus the 2023 and 2024 winners.

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Twelve of the 24 teams taking part will be from Europe and the tournament will be held every four years. The remaining eight European places are likely to be allocated according to UEFA club co-efficient rankings.

The FIFA Council met in advance of the 73rd FIFA Congress in Kigali, Rwanda, today and adopted several key decisions, one of which being a change to the men’s and women’s international match calendar from 2026.

Rather than separate September and October breaks for international fixtures, the break will be made into one big one, at the end of September / early October. The break from domestic action will see four international matches being played.

All other international breaks in the fixture calendar will remain the same as they are now. Based on the new calendar, the FIFA World Cup 2026 final will be played on Sunday, 19 July 2026, with the mandatory release period starting on 25 May 2026, following the last official club match on 24 May 2026.


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