La Liga criticises World Cup and Club World Cup plans

Fifa’s plans to expand the World Cup and Club World Cup have shown “a complete disregard” for the football community, according to a statement from La Liga.

Football’s governing body have announced that the next World Cup, taking place in 2026 in the USA, Canada and Mexico, will feature 104 games and 48 teams - an increase of 40 games and 16 teams from the 2022 tournament.

In addition, Fifa shared plans for a 32-team Club World Cup which would take place every four years from 2025. The annual tournament currently features seven teams; one host and one team for the winners of each confederation’s continental cup tournament.

The statement read: “Fifa is showing complete disregard for the importance of national championships, and the football community in general.”

It added that Fifa “continues its malpractice of making unilateral decisions on the world football calendar” while also neglecting “the economic damage these decisions inflict on leagues around the world”.

“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,” it continued.

Previous sceptics of the Fifa plans have also noted the potential effects on player welfare, with representative from the players union - Fifpro - and Professional Footballers’ Association also criticising the announcement.

La Liga finished its statement by adding that it would analyse the plans alongside the World Leagues Forum (WLF) - who represent professional football leagues - before deciding on the “appropriate next steps”.

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