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FIFA set to launch maiden Women’s Club World Cup in 2026

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By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde

Football governing body, FIFA has announced plans to launch the Women’s Club World Cup from 2026, according to The Athletic.

The development is comes on te heels of increasing calls for a global showpiece to feature the best women’s football champions across the world.

Advocates of the women’s game have been talking about a global competition for over a decade and FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he wanted to stage one “as soon as possible” as far back as 2019.

The quest to have a global women’s football club tournament got the green light when a FIFA Council meeting in Qatar approved the launch of women’s versions of the Futsal World Cup and Club World Cup in December 2022.

Infantino said the details would be decided after “consultation with the relevant stakeholders”, adding that concerns about “players’ health and well-being” would be a “primary goal” while speaking with reporters.

The FIFA president said there would be no further changes to the game’s calendar until 2025, at the earliest.

Stakeholders from the six Confederations under the FIFA umbrella – Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, Central America, Oceania, and South America ahead of the discussion on vary issues for the maiden edition.

FIFA and the five non-European confederations want an annual Women’s Club World Cup, while UEFA favoured a less frequent competition, as it is concerned about fixture congestion and setting a precedent for the men’s game.

There has recently been a breakthrough in the talks about the women’s tournament, with UEFA ready to accept a compromise of biennial Women’s Club World Cups, starting in 2026.

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There are also further talks to decide number of participating clubs are invited and a venue are among issues FIFA are keen to resolve as well as ensuring all regions are represented, including Asia.

The debate on the venue is likely to come down to where in the world this inaugural event has the best possible chance to make a good first impression, with packed stadiums and strong support from broadcasters.

That would appear to limit the choice to Europe or the US, but with the latter already hosting Copa America, the men’s Club World Cup, and the men’s World Cup over the next three summers, it could be a chance for Europe to provide the stage.

And if it is not 2026, the next available window might not come until 2029 or even later, as there is a Women’s World Cup in 2027 and a 16-team Olympic competition at the Los Angeles Games in 2028.

A FIFA spokesperson told The Athletic: “FIFA, together with confederations, player representatives, and key stakeholders from across the women’s game, are currently conducting a thorough consultation process on the women’s international match calendar from 2026. This consultation process is ongoing.

“Further details on this, and new FIFA competitions approved by the FIFA Council, will be announced in due course.”

In future, we came dream of having Barcelona against Gotham FC or Bayelsa Queens against Lyon when the tournament finally start.

With the above contestation, it is left for FIFA and other stakeholders to have a round table discussion in a bid to determine the date for the maiden FIFA Women’s Club World Cup, modalities of infusing into the global football calendar, and the host of the competition.

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Key decisions are expected to be made as the world awaits the birth of a new global women’s football tournament.