Later this year, in December, FIFA will hold their Club World Cup for the last time in its current guise. As confirmed on Tuesday by the FIFA council, the format will be switching after that, making it a quadrennial summer event (like the actual World Cup) and expanding it to 32 teams instead of just the seven continental champions.
That also means that the qualifying pool has been expanded, with a lookback period of four years. And that means that Chelsea will get to participate once again thanks to our 2021 Champions League final victory! We had already won the associated title last year, completing football in the process, but now we get to participate once again for the cherry on top of that cake.
Of the 32 teams, 12 will be from UEFA leagues, including the four Champions League title-winners from 2021-2024. The 2025 FIFA Club World Cup is set to take place June 2025.
(There will be an as-yet unnamed and seemingly quite similar replacement annual tournament for the old Club World Cup as well.)
In related news, FIFA also confirmed an expanded 2026 World Cup, which will take place in the USA, Mexico, and Canada. They have however relented on the format, keeping four-team groups (of 12) instead of creating three-team groups (of 16). The top 32 advance either way to the knockout rounds (first two in each group, plus the eight next best.