Following Morocco’s remarkable run to the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar, FIFA’s governing council decided the nation will now host the Club World Cup.
Morocco has been picked by FIFA to host the next Club World Cup in February 2023, FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced on Friday.
The tournament will return to Morocco for the third time from February 1 to 11, Infantino told reporters at a press conference in Doha.
It will be one of the last seven-team editions of the tournament for continental champions, with an expanded, month-long tournament planned to start in 2025. FIFA has long wanted to launch an expanded version with 24 or 32 teams in a tournament played in June.
Infantino said the intended change was “making it really like a World Cup.”
“We had agreed a few years ago to have a new 24-team men’s Club World Cup. It should have taken place in 2021 but was postponed because of Covid,” the FIFA president said.
“The new competition will take place in 2025 and will feature 32 teams, making it really like a World Cup,” he added, without offering further details.
In 2013 and 2014, Morocco hosted the Club World Cups, with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid winning the respective championships.
European champion Real Madrid, South American champion Flamengo and Seattle Sounders, the first CONCACAF Champions League winner from the United States, will play in the traditional seven-team tournament.
Only European and South American teams have won the Club World Cup since it was revived in the current format in 2005.
Morocco made history as the first African and Arab team to reach the World Cup semi-finals.The Atlas Lions will now go on to face Croatia for third place on 17 December.