Gianni Infantino awarded the inaugural edition of the 24-team Club World Cup to China after a meeting in Shanghai at the FIFA Council.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Thursday that FIFA had awarded the inaugural edition of the 24-team World Cup to China in what he called a "historic decision". The move underscores China's growing influence on football and could be a pioneer for the eventual World Cup hosts. Infantino made the remarks after meeting in Shanghai for the FIFA Board, the decision-making unit of the World Football Board. This means that many of the biggest football clubs, a variety of stars, will descend to China in two years. Infantino stressed that China is the only country discussed
"It's a historic decision for football," he said. "It will be a competition that all people, all children and all who love football expect."
The FIFA President said in June that the new Club World Cup could generate commercial revenues of up to $ 50 billion, although he did not say how many issues he would cover. A source told AFP the figure was "unbelievable".
The current Club World Cup has seven teams, including Champions League holders. Qatar will host the competition this year and 2020.
The two countries will use the tournaments as logistic tests for stadiums and infrastructure ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup , FIFA's leading international competition.
Infantino said FIFA would also double the funds allocated to women's football to $ 1 billion over the next four years.
"The Council decided to allocate 500 million in addition to the 500 million already included in the budget."
The plan to renew 24 teams from the Club World Cup from June to July 2021 was approved at a FIFA Council meeting in Miami in March despite opposition from the UEFA and the strong European League Association.
Infantino said on Thursday the tournament would include eight teams from Europe.
The tournament is held every four years and replaces the Confederations Cup, an international competition that served as a test for the hosts of the World Cup.
The next World Cup?
China, the world's second-largest economy, became increasingly influential in football under President Xi Jinping, a well-known fan of the game.
Xi and his communist government have made sport a national priority and his stated goal is to host the country of 1.4 billion people.
Commitment to the 2030 World Cup has been discussed for a long time.
Mark Dreyer, an industry expert in Beijing, said the country has a proven track record in organizing major sporting events and believes the World Cup is the ultimate goal.
But Dreyer, founder of China Sports Insider, added: "I am concerned from the perspective of China if other competitive offers (by 2030) will use this (Club World Cup) against China and say they already have some who have rewarded FIFA for their financial support. , So give someone else a World Cup. "
When asked about questions about China's human rights record as a result of the FIFA Club World Cup decision, Infantino went ahead.
He was also asked whether the players coming to China should watch themselves, after the NBA. A Chinese reaction was influenced by comments from a Houston Rockets executive who expressed support for Hong Kong protesters who resist Chinese control.
"Everyone can say what they want," he said.
"As far as we are concerned, we are trying to use football as an incentive for positive, not negative."