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Chelsea among 24 teams expected to compete in new 2021 FIFA Club World Cup in China

Wait, what?

FIFA President Gianni Infantino explains what a ball is
Photo by RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images

Back in March — missed that I guess — FIFA announced that they have decided to revamp the exceedingly useless Club World Cup competition by also scrapping the equally useless Confederations Cup and creating an even bigger mess.

Under the new format, 24 (club) teams will take part in a quadrennial event, to be played the year before each World Cup (i.e. when the Confederations Cup used to be held). In replacing the annual format for the Club World Cup, the competition will expand to include 8 teams from Europe, 6 teams from South America, and the rest divided up between Asia, Africa, and North America. Eight groups of 3 teams each would then lead to a 8-team single elimination knockout bracket.

In a way, it now lives up to its name much better, literally a “World Cup” for “Club” teams.

The qualifiers from Europe will be the winners of the Champions League and Europa League from the preceding four years. So that means Real Madrid (CL ‘18), Liverpool (CL ‘19), Atlético Madrid (EL ‘18) and Chelsea (EL ‘19) have already qualified!

That’s assuming we don’t decide to boycott the competition, as the European Club Assocation (ECA) have urged.

While it’s unclear when exactly this competition would take place (summer, presumably?), or how repeat winners of the continental competitions would be handled, FIFA have reportedly decided to give the inaugural tournament of the revamped Club World Cup to China. No official announcement has been made yet, but the New York Times got the down low on Friday’s vote.

So we’ve got that going for us.

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