FIFA has shown “total disregard” for the importance of national competitions, Spain’s LaLiga Association says, after FIFA approved a 32-team Club World Cup and an expanded 104-match World Cup.
Before the Congress in Kigali, Rwanda, FIFA announced on Tuesday that the 2026 World Cup will witness 104 matches instead of the traditional 64 due to the expanded format with the participation of 48 teams.
The board has also approved the 32-team Club World Cup to be held every four years from June 2025.
“FIFA continues its misconduct in making unilateral decisions in the global football calendar, showing complete disregard for the importance of national leagues and the football community in general,” the Football Association said in a statement on Tuesday.
“FIFA completely ignores the economic damage these decisions are causing to leagues around the world. The leagues have not been consulted about any of the changes introduced today, particularly with regard to the new annual club competition.
“These decisions do not take into account the competitive, sporting and economic impact on national leagues, clubs and players, by further stuffing an already overburdened schedule. FIFA takes into account a small group of clubs and players…”
LaLiga added that other leagues in the World Leagues Forum (WLF), an organization representing professional football’s associations, “will analyze FIFA’s decisions and decide on the most appropriate next steps.”
In December, FIFA criticized the announcement of the 32-team Club World Cup, saying it could have serious consequences for football’s economy and player welfare.
Revamped match calendars are approved by the FIFA Council, the main decision-making body of the world football organisation.
The FIFA Council is composed of 37 members including President Gianni Infantino, 28 of whom are elected by the Member Associations. UEFA, which is Europe’s governing body, is also represented on the council.
Reuters has contacted FIFA for comment.
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