FIFA sets date for first Women's Club World Cup. Tournament due to launch in January 2026

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Barcelona's Ingrid Engen, center, applauds after the Women's Champions League, semi final second leg, soccer match between FC Chelsea and FC Barcelona in London, England, Saturday, April 27, 2024. (Kieran Cleeves/PA via AP)

BANGKOK – FIFA finally set a date Wednesday to play the first Women’s Club World Cup tournament in January and February 2026.

The first edition should involve 16 teams though FIFA’s ruling council did not specify how they would qualify or where they could play.

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Barcelona and Lyon are the top-ranked European teams and have combined to win 10 Champions League titles since 2011. They will meet in the next final on May 25 in Bilbao, Spain.

A 32-team men’s Club World Cup will debut in June-July next year in the United States with teams qualifying by winning or getting consistently good results in four years of continental championships through 2024. The inaugural men's edition will have 12 European teams and six from South America.

FIFA has made launching a global club tournament a key part of its strategy to develop women’s soccer since the soccer body’s current president Gianni Infantino was elected in 2016.

The tournament should be held every four years, like the men’s edition. In other years, an “additional FIFA women’s club competition” was proposed to be organized, again like the men.

FIFA plans to launch an annual “Intercontinental Cup” in December featuring just the champions of the six men’s continental competitions, such as the Champions League in Europe.


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