2021 FIFA Club World Cup to move due to rescheduled Euro 2020

The inaugural 24-team FIFA Club World Cup originally for next year is set to move to accommodate the rescheduled UEFA 2020 European Championship and CONMEBOL 2020 Copa America national team competitions.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino arranged a conference call taking place on Wednesday where he will recommend that the global governing body’s Bureau of the Council accept the postponement of the two continental tournaments and move the expanded 2021 Club World Cup.

The expanded club tournament was meant to take place across eight cities in China from 17th June to 4th July next year in the calendar slot traditionally reserved for the FIFA Confederations Cup national team tournament.

However, UEFA and CONMEBOL, the respective continental confederations for Europe and South America, announced on Tuesday that their flagship national team tournaments would be postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, that created a clash with the 2021 Club World Cup.

FIFA will now wait until ‘there is more clarity on the situation’ to decide new dates for the Club World Cup, which Infantino said could take place later in 2021, in 2022 or even 2023.

Infantino, 49, also plans to arrange discussions with the Chinese Football Association (CFA), the national soccer body, and the Chinese government to ‘minimise any negative impact’ of a postponement.

In addition, FIFA will recommend that the ruling council make a AU$17.5 million to the World Health Organisation Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund, while Infantino says the Zurich-based governing body will also discuss establishing a Global Football Assistance Fund to ‘help members of the football community affected by this crisis’.

‘The world is facing an unprecedented health challenge and clearly a global and collective response is needed,’ Infantino said in a statement.

‘Cooperation, mutual respect and understanding must be the guiding principles for all decision makers to have in mind at this crucial moment in time.

‘Particularly in football, finding appropriate and fair solutions at global level is imperative. This requires unity, solidarity and a shared sense of responsibility and we need to think of all those around the world potentially impacted by our decisions.

‘Finally, it goes without saying that FIFA will keep in regular contact with all members of the football community during this difficult period.

‘As I stated yesterday, challenging circumstances offer the opportunity for people to come together, show what they can do in a collective spirit, and emerge stronger and better prepared for the future. And this is what FIFA is aiming to do here.’

Infantino’s plans to push ahead with an expanded Club World Cup have previously created tension between FIFA and UEFA given the threat the reimagined tournament could impact the value of the UEFA Champions League.

However, those differences appear to have been put to one side as the global soccer industry attempts to implement a unified response to the coronavirus outbreak.

UEFA’s decision to postpone Euro 2020, along with the Copa America due to begin on 12th June, was taken to free up more time for Europe’s domestic soccer leagues to complete their current seasons, the majority of which have now been put on hold.

The move could yet have implications for the UEFA 2021 Women’s European Championship, which is due to get underway on 7th July next year, four days before the new date for the final of the men’s competition.

UEFA is yet to confirm the fate of the tournament, although the governing body’s president Aleksander Čeferin told the Associated Press that postponing the tournament until 2022 is “one of the possibilities” and “one of the most likely to happen”.

“We are thinking of postponing this Women’s Euro as well and Under-21 championship as well,” he said.

“We will have to postpone both because I don’t think that we should cannibalise the women’s Euro with the men’s Euro just one month before.”

Avatar
Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program a key investment in Western Australia

Western Australia events are receiving significant support through the Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program 2023-24.

The WA State Government has invested over $630,000 to a host of sporting bodies across a vast number of codes.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • build capacity and capability of the sport and recreation workforce and volunteers to plan, secure and/or deliver quality sport and active recreation events
  • provide opportunities for talented WA athletes, coaches and officials to participate at a national and/or international level in their home environment
  • provide opportunities for the public to participate in sport and/or active recreation events
  • provide opportunities for regional Western Australians to experience and conduct major sporting events and sport development initiatives in a regional location.

The program comprises three categories:

  • event projects (up to $15,000)
  • event hosting (up to $50,000)
  • the Country Sport Enrichment Scheme (up to $30,000).

In Round 1 of the Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program 2023-24, one of the successful applicants was Football West, who ran 2024 Goldfields Regional Festival of Football – a seven-day community engagement event that improved football capacity in the wider Goldfields area. After receiving $24,200, Football West’s main goal is to increase participation in the region.

There is still time to apply for the next round of funding, which closes 5:00pm on February 26, 2024.

For full information and eligibility to apply, you can find it here.

WSL eyeing enormous 150% increase to broadcast rights deal

In a historic first for football in the UK, every single Women’s Super League match is set to be broadcasted live from next season across multiple channels.

The WSL tender document issued to broadcasters this month features all 132 league games, with 56 to be sold exclusively and the remaining 76 available on a non-exclusive basis.

Under the terms of the existing deal that expires at the end of the current season, Sky broadcast 35 matches-a-season and the BBC 22, with the rest streamed for free on the FA’s website.

The tender document is asking for a huge £20 million ($38.48 million) a year TV deal and this 150% increase to the value of its broadcasting deal is far from surprising following the explosion of the women’s game. This figure is set to be confirmed as soon as they can find the right suitors.

In an attempt to gain an increase from the existing £7.75 million ($14.91 million) a year deal, the WSL have responded by making every match available for broadcast, which the league hoped would attract bids from beyond current rights holders Sky Sports and the BBC, It looks to be working.

Sky Sports and the BBC are set to bid again on the rights and extend the current partnership whilst it is said that this potential deal is also attracting networks like TNT Sports and DAZN.

The Premier League and EFL have stood firm on the UEFA blackout that suggests all 3pm Saturday matches are not shown on TV, to encourage locals to attend matches in person. This means the WSL will have to work around it and it is likely that Saturday lunchtime and Sunday afternoons remain as the most common kick-off times.

There is little the WSL are having to do to persuade broadcasters into putting their hands up for these rights, which is a testament to the sport’s current growth and upward trajectory it is trending towards.

FA Director of Women’s football, Kelly Simmons, explained how important it was to secure this monumental broadcast deal.

“While we’ve been developing this it’s been so hard to sit on it because it’s so exciting for the women’s game. It is transformational,” Simmons said in an interview with Guardian Sport.

“When I first came into this role, we said that we really thought women’s football could really break into the mainstream and this is mainstream, this is prime slots on television, big audiences, week in week out.”

This deal in particular launches women’s football into the mainstream and helps improve the quality of the product which goes a long way to opening the eyes of a huge audience to its impact as a sport and socially.

Most Popular Topics

Editor Picks

Send this to a friend