CECAFA clubs set to miss 2025 Club World Cup spot and potential Ksh10 billion windfall


FOOTBALL CECAFA clubs set to miss 2025 Club World Cup spot and potential Ksh10 billion windfall

Festus Chuma 18:56 - 24.12.2023

East African teams including Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards are set to miss 2025 Club World Cup, losing out on a Ksh9 billion opportunity.

East African teams including Simba, Yanga, Gor Mahia, and AFC Leopards are set to miss out on the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup, dashing their hopes of a staggering £50 million (Ksh9.8 billion) windfall.

FIFA's announcement of the expanded 32-team tournament brought both excitement and disappointment to football fans across the region.

FIFA confirmed that the 2025 Club World Cup, set to take place every four years, will kick off in the United States from June 15 to July 13.

This inaugural edition of the revamped tournament promises to be a global football extravaganza, but for CECAFA teams, the dream has been deferred.

Four African slots were allocated for this prestigious competition, with Egypt's Al Ahly and Morocco's Wydad Casablanca securing their places based on their four-year coefficient rankings.

The remaining places will be decided by the best coefficient finishers in the CAF Champions Champions tournament.

Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, both legendary clubs with rich histories in Kenyan and African football, had hoped to represent East Africa on the grand stage.

Two slots for African teams in the competition are still up for grabs with Simba currently ranked seventh in the continent the best-placed CECAFA team to earn a ticket even though their chances are slim unless they win the Champions League this season. 

FIFA's decision to postpone the Club World Cup to 2025 instead of holding it in 2024 serves multiple purposes.

It provides club teams with ample time to prepare for the increased competition and also acts as a testing ground for the 2026 World Cup host countries.

This move has garnered anticipation worldwide, with prominent European clubs like Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan already locking in their spots for the 2025 edition.

The scheduling of the tournament has been meticulously planned to ensure that it aligns harmoniously with the International Match Calendar.

This allows for sufficient time between the tournament final and the commencement of domestic leagues across the globe, prioritizing player welfare with a mandatory minimum of three days of rest between matches.

While the format of the 2025 Club World Cup mirrors that of the FIFA World Cup 2022 and the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, it will notably omit the play-off for third place.

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