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FIFA Club World Cup 2023 Details and Schedule is Confirmed

The FIFA Club World Cup 2023 is starting, and the full details of the tournament are released. With the 19th edition of the FIFA Club World Cup starting on February 1, there are different things to know about the World Cup.

The FIFA Club World Cup is from February 1-11 in Morocco. Seven club teams are battling for the title of world champions, including the defending champions of every region of the world, plus an additional spot reserved for the host country.

Since Moroccan champion Wydad Casablanca also became African champions, the additional spot had to be reassigned. Taking over as the host team for the tournament is African Champions League runners-up Al Ahly of Egypt.

The Club World Cup draw took place on Friday, January 13, at the Mohammed VI Football Academy in Sale, Rabat. Per custom, a local celebrity assisted with the draw, and that honor fell to Morocco’s most-capped international player, Noureddine Naybet.

For this year’s tournament, there will only be seven knockout matches to determine the champion.  If a match ends in a draw, extra time and any necessary penalties will be used to determine a winner except, for the third-place match, which will skip extra time and go straight to penalties.

Playing the opening game of the tournament is the African runners-up Al Ahly (Egypt) and Oceania champion Auckland City (New Zealand). The winning team of the first stage will face US club Seattle Sounders in a second-round match on February 4.

 

 

In addition to the winners of the first round and the Seattle Sounders, Asian champions Al Hilal and African champions Wydad Casablanca will play to determine which two teams advance to the semifinals.

For the semi-finals, the winners of the Second Round match between Wydad and Al Hilal will face Flamengo (South America champions), and Real Madrid (European champions) will meet Seattle, Al Ahly, or Auckland.

Once the semi-final winners and losers are confirmed, they will play in the 3rd place match and finals on February 11.

According to an announcement by FIFA president Gianni Infantino in Qatar in December, there is an expanded Club World Cup planned for 2025. Unlike previous Club World Cups, the expanded tournament will have 32 teams. There is still no confirmation regarding plans for this project. But FIFA president Gianni Infantino did make it clear that the intention is that “they will be the best teams in the world”.

Reports say that the newly expanded tournament is set to replace the FIFA Confederations Cup, which in the past served as a test run for the men’s World Cup host country the year before the tournament.

It is speculated that this is the reason for rumors circulating that the USA could be hosting the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup, one year before the 2026 Men’s FIFA World Cup.

This is not the first time that the project for an extension got announced. In 2021, plans for expansion of the tournament had called for a 24-team Club World Cup. It ended up not going through because of scheduling conflicts and fixture congestion resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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