In its eagerness to squeeze the hen from the golden eggs until it gives no more of itself, FIFA decided to replace the Confederations Cup with a much more profitable Club World Cup in 2021. Today it has been announced that this novel competition, which will be extended For two and a half weeks, it will be held in China. This has been decided "unanimously" by the FIFA Council, ignoring the organizational chaos that the World Cup in this country meant just over a month ago.
The question now is who will play that new competition, which will be played every four years, as with the World Cup. In principle, it will be the confederations who decide their representatives, although FIFA has announced a "round of consultations" with each of them to finish profiling. The objective, of course, is to be played, in one way or another, by the best clubs in the world, the ones with the most income to report to the tournament.
And here comes the problem. UEFA has eight of the 24 places for that World Cup and, unless there is a change of criteria, has decided to grant them to the champions of this four-year period. In this way, the Champions and Europa League champions would be classified between 2018 and 2021. This implies the already confirmed participation of Real Madrid, Atlético, Liverpool and Chelsea, the winners of those two competitions in the last two seasons. It is not clear what will happen if a team wins two continental tournaments in this four-year period and, therefore, there is a free space.
The Spanish representation is guaranteed by the great clubs of Madrid, but that of Barcelona is at serious risk. If nothing changes, the Barça team should win the Champions League this year or the next to be able to be in China in 2021. FIFA has studied the possibility of reserving two invitations for clubs that do not qualify for sporting merits, but that option seems to It will not have a tour. Many greats in Europe, in short, will be left out of China's historic event. Not all fit.
After Europe, South America will be the most represented confederation in this World Cup, with six seats whose distribution is not yet clear, although it has the champions of the Libertadores and the South American Cup this year and next. Africa, Asia and CONCACAF (North and Central America) will have three representatives and Oceania will have to play their presence against the champion of China, as host country of the tournament.
Apart from this issue, FIFA has agreed at its meeting this Thursday Shanghai to double the investment in women's football, which will be 1,000 million dollars in this four-year period, award the U21 World Cup 2021 to Indonesia and open the election process from the headquarters of the World Cup of 2023, which could be chosen by Spain and Portugal in a joint bid.
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