Pro IQRA News Updates.
Meeting ahead of the 73rd FIFA Congress in Kigali, Rwanda, the FIFA Council took several key decisions, particularly regarding the future of men’s and women’s competitions, for which the respective international match calendars were unanimously approved following a detailed consultation process.
According to FIFA’s press release published here on Tuesday, the 2025-2030 men’s international match calendar will be structured as follows: March: a nine-day, two-match window, June: a nine-day, two-match window (including friendlies) in preparation for final tournaments where appropriate), in late September/early October: a 16-day, four-game window (to be introduced from 2026, with two nine-day, two-game windows to be retained in September and October 2025) , November: a nine-day window with two games.
Based on the new calendar, the FIFA World Cup 2026 final will be played on Sunday 19 July 2026, with the mandatory release period starting on 25 May 2026, after the last official club match on 24 May 2026 (exceptions may apply for final matches in confederation club competitions until until 30 May 2026 subject to FIFA approval). At 56 days, the total number of rest, release and tournament days remains identical to the 2010, 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup™ editions. The detailed men’s international match calendar 2025-2030 will be published in the coming days.
Women’s International Match Calendar 2024-2025: According to the current calendar, the Women’s International Match Calendar 2024-2025 will feature six international windows per year. Some of these windows will include a variety of window types to enable confederations to deliver their specific competition qualification routes and to enable member associations to play friendlies.
The dates of the women’s Olympic football tournament (25 July-10 August 2024) have been added to the calendar, as well as the Concacaf W Gold Cup which will be played for the first time from 20 February to 10 March 2024. The FIFA Council has also unanimously approved the establishment of a special player welfare task force to ensure smooth implementation of player welfare principles such as mandatory rest periods.
“FIFA promoted a truly global approach to the discussions on the international match calendar, which took into account the perspectives of all key stakeholders,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “Our fundamental aim is to have clarity on this subject and to have meaningful football matches while protecting player welfare and recognizing that many regions need more competitive football.”
FIFA World Cup 2026 competition format: Based on a thorough review that took into account sporting integrity, player welfare, team travel, commercial and sporting appeal, as well as team and fan experience, the FIFA Council unanimously approved the proposed change to the 2026 FIFA World Cup. competition format from 16 groups of three to 12 groups of four with the top two and eight best third-placed teams progressing to a round of 32. The revised format reduces the risk of collusion and ensures that all teams play at least three matches. , while providing balanced rest time between competing teams.
FIFA Club World Cup 2025™ – key principles for access list: Following the approval of the slot allocation for the 32-team FIFA Club World Cup™ to be played every four years from June 2025, the FIFA Council unanimously approved key principles for access to ensure maximum possible quality based on sporting criteria. Taking a consideration period as the four-year period for the seasons ending in 2021 and 2024, the key principles of access are as follows:
For confederations with more than four seats: entry for the champions of the previous four editions of the confederation’s premier club competition, and additional teams determined by a club ranking based on the same four-year period.
For associations with four seats: access for the champions of the previous four editions of the association’s premier club competition
For confederations with one place: access for the highest-ranked club among the champions of the confederation’s main club competition during the four-year period
For the host country: entry for the club occupying this seat will be determined at a later stage
Other criteria also apply: In the event that a club wins two or more editions of the association’s premier club competition during the period 2021-2024, a club ranking calculated based on sporting criteria will be used to grant entry.
A cap of two clubs per country will apply to the asset list unless more than two clubs from the same country win the confederation’s premier club competition during the four-year period.
Further consultation will follow with federations and stakeholders to define the calculation mechanisms for the club rankings, which will be based on sporting criteria.
Annual FIFA club competition
As the current version of the FIFA Club World Cup™ will be discontinued after the 2023 edition and, considering the need expressed by confederations for the champions of their premier club competitions to play each other annually to stimulate competitiveness, the FIFA Council unanimously approved Strategic concept for an annual FIFA club competition starting in 2024. This competition will feature the champions of the main club competitions of all confederations and conclude with a final played at a neutral venue, between the winner of the UEFA Champions League and the winner of intercontinental play-offs between the other confederations. Details of time and format will follow in due course
FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027™ Bidding Regulations Approved: In line with the decision taken at its meeting on 14 February 2023, the FIFA Council unanimously approved the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027™ Bidding Regulations, which will see the most comprehensive bidding process in history. of the competition before the host(s) are to be appointed by the FIFA Congress next year.
FIFA Statutes: The FIFA Council also decided to set up a working group of all confederations to carry out a comprehensive review of the FIFA Statutes in order to submit proposals to next year’s FIFA Congress. This review shall consider the possibility of expanding FIFA’s mandate to include the category of eFootball as part of FIFA’s overall objectives.
Transfer Reform: The FIFA Council unanimously approved changes to FIFA’s Rules on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) related to registration periods and the need to ensure increased protection for unemployed footballers, as part of the third package of the transfer reform process… Also the FIFA Council also agreed to mandate the FIFA administration to investigate possible further regulatory steps to protect the welfare of female players in line with the RSTP, particularly in the following areas: adoption, abortion, menstrual health, multiple births, breastfeeding and childcare.
SECOND RESOLUTION: The rules in relation to the operations of the FIFA Talent Development Scheme in which FIFA will invest USD 200 million from 2023 to 2026 were unanimously approved. An update on the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™ was provided, and the FIFA Council approved the publication of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ report. The FIFA Council confirmed that the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup UAE 2023™ will take place from 16 to 26 November 2023, and the slot allocation for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Seychelles 2025™ was also approved (AFC: 3; CAF: 2; Concacaf: 2; CONMEBOL: 3; OFC: 1; UEFA: 4; host country: 1).