The soccer news starts with a new acronym for another group of clubs lobbying for their voices to count at the highest level. This time, it's a collection of eight clubs representing the confederations in discussions with FIFA about the revamped Club World Cup. The World Football Clubs Association had their introductory meeting with FIFA on Friday, in theory giving a way for clubs to voice their concerns and potentially influence what FIFA does with their revamped tournament.
For those keeping score at home, the Club World Cup is set to become a different competition in 2021. Held every four years in the summer, it replaces the Confederations Cup on the FIFA calendar. It's also expanding to 24 teams. That's an obvious concern for the clubs most likely to be involved, especially from Europe where it could potentially interfere with their lucrative preseason tours.
The current membership is Real Madrid with that club's president Florintino Perez also the president of the WFCA and AC Milan from UEFA, River Plate and Boca Juniors from CONMEBOL, Guangzhou Evergrande from the AFC, TP Mazembe from CAF, Aucklant City from Oceania, and Club America from Concacaf. Inside World Football's Paul Nicholson has expanding that membership high on the WFCA's agenda.
"I am so happy that clubs from around the world were present and agreed to create this association," Perez said in a press statement. This new association will be a credible, focussed counterpart to FIFA and we will strive to improve all aspects related to clubs, starting with the FIFA Club World Cup in 2021. The tournament must be a competition that helps develop club football around the world and that is what the clubs here today hope to achieve alongside FIFA. We hope to maintain an excellent level of cooperation with FIFA to take club football to the next level."
It's an interesting situation for world club soccer, with leagues already affiliated through the World Leagues Forum. That organization only dates to 2016 and includes Liga MX and MLS along with the major leagues from around the world with all of the big five in Europe represented.
FIFA's push for change needs the support of the clubs, the players, and ultimately the fans to have any chance at real success. We already know what forcing a club tournament onto the calendar looks like. The latest example of that will be when the 2019 Club World Cup kicks off next month in Qatar. If anything, that's only helping FIFA president Gianni Infantino's push for change. With FIFA hosting the first meeting of the WFCA, the goal for world soccer's governing body is buy-in.
"The world is evolving fast and if football wants to keep growing as the main sport of the planet we need to come together in a constructive, innovative and inclusive spirit to openly talk about the challenges and issues but also the great opportunities that we have in front of us," Infantino said in a press statement. "My vision is that in the future 40 or 50 clubs from different parts of the globe have the legitimate ambition to win the FIFA Club World Cup. This would mean that their national or regional competitions have developed to that level and that millions of fans are even more engaged in the support of their favorite teams."
SI.com's Grant Wahl looks at the USMNT's win over Canada. MLSsoccer's Matthew Doyle has his points from the USMNT win. Yahoo Sports' Doug McIntyre highlights the lineup against Canada. SBI Soccer's Ives Galarcep highlights what Sergino Dest did against Canada.
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