• With the current version of the Club World Cup set to be discontinued in 2024, the Fifa Council unanimously approved the strategic concept of a yearly Fifa club competition as of 2024.
• “With 56 days, the total combined number of rest, release and tournament days remain identical to the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Fifa World Cup editions. The detailed men’s international match calendar 2025-2030 will be published in the coming days,” a statement from the Council said.
The Fifa Council unanimously approved the proposed amendment to the 2026 World Cup format from 16 groups of three to 12 groups of four with the top two and eight best third-placed teams progressing to the round of 32.
Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, before the 73rd Fifa Congress, the Council said the Fifa World Cup 2026 final will be played on July 19, with the mandatory release period starting on May 25, 2026, following the last official club match a day earlier (exemptions may apply to the final matches of confederation club competitions until May 30, 2026 subject to Fifa’s approval).
“With 56 days, the total combined number of rest, release and tournament days remain identical to the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Fifa World Cup editions. The detailed men’s international match calendar 2025-2030 will be published in the coming days,” a statement from the Council said.
The Council also approved the new men’s international match calendar 2025-2030, which will see the March international window have a two-match window in nine days. The June international break will be a nine-day, two-match window (including friendlies in preparation of final tournaments where appropriate).
Late September/early October will now be a 16-day, four-match window (to be introduced as of 2026, with two nine-day, two-match windows to be retained in September and October 2025).
A nine-day, two-match window will conclude the year in November.
The Council also unanimously approved the key principles of access with the aim of ensuring the highest quality possible based on sporting criteria for the inaugural 32-team Club World Cup set to start in 2025.
With a period of consideration being the four-year period of the seasons ending in 2021 and 2024, the key principles of access are as follows: for confederations with more than four slots: access for the champions of the previous four editions of the confederation’s premier club competition, and additional teams to be determined by a club ranking based on the same four-year period.
With the current version of the Club World Cup set to be discontinued in 2024, the Council unanimously approved the strategic concept of a yearly Fifa club competition as of 2024.
This competition will feature the champions of the premier club competitions of all confederations and conclude with a final to be played at a neutral venue, between the winner of the Uefa Champions League and the winner of intercontinental play-offs between the other confederations.
Other items that were approved by the Fifa Council include the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2027 bidding regulations, setting up a working group across all confederations to conduct a comprehensive review of the Fifa Statutes, amendments to the Fifa Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) and the regulations in relation to the operations of the Fifa Talent Development Scheme in which Fifa will invest USD 200 million from 2023 to 2026.
The Council confirmed that the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup UAE 2023 will take place between November 16 and 26, 2023, and the slot allocation for the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup Seychelles 2025 was also approved (AFC: 3; CAF: 2; Concacaf: 2; Conmebol: 3; OFC: 1; Uefa: 4; host country: 1).