Meeting today in Zurich, the Organising Committee for the FIFA Club World Championship decided on the format of the tournaments planned for 2005 and 2006. This decision now needs to be ratified by the Executive Committee at its next meeting, in London on 29 February 2004.
Under the chairmanship of Viacheslav Koloskov (Russia), the committee unanimously approved the following format for 2005 and 2006:
- No. of teams: 6 – the champions of each confederation’s club championship in the respective year
- No. of matches: 7
- Number of match days: 4
- Duration: 8 days
- Date: December 2005
- Host country: Japan
This competition would then incorporate the Toyota Cup, a trophy that to date had been contested in Tokyo by the winners of the UEFA Champions League and the South American Copa Libertadores at the end of each year. With this in mind, the FIFA Club World Championship will be played at the same time of year.
The teams from Europe and South America will both be seeded and enter the championship at the semi-final stage. They will therefore each play only two matches within the space of a few days, a solution that will improve the balance in respect to the teams’ long journey to and from Japan.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter commended this format not only as a solution to suit all parties, but also as “an expression of solidarity in world football”.