La Liga has accused Fifa of showing “complete disregard” for the importance of national competitions after world football’s governing body approved a 32-team Club World Cup as well as an expanded World Cup with 104 matches.
Fifa announced before its Congress in Kigali, Rwanda, that the 2026 World Cup would have 104 matches instead of the traditional 64 because of the expanded format with 48 teams. It also approved a 32-team Club World Cup which will be played every four years from June 2025.
“Fifa continues its malpractice of making unilateral decisions on the world football calendar, showing complete disregard for the importance of national championships, and the football community in general,” Spain’s La Liga said.
“Fifa completely neglects the economic damage these decisions inflict on leagues around the world. Leagues were not consulted about any of the changes presented today, especially about the new annual club competition … These decisions do not take into account the competitive, sporting and economic impact on national leagues, clubs and players, by further cramming an already overloaded schedule. Fifa only takes into account a small group of clubs and players.”
La Liga said that it and other leagues in the World Leagues Forum (WLF), an organisation representing professional football leagues, would “analyse Fifa’s decisions and decide on the most appropriate next steps”.
In December, the WLF criticised the announcement of a 32-team Club World Cup, saying it could have damaging consequences for the football economy and player welfare. Reuters has approached Fifa for additional comment.
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