LaLiga slams FIFA for showing complete disregard for leagues

FIFA, the world football governing body, announced on Tuesday the new format for the 2026 World Cup which will be a 48-team tournament.

In a press release published on Wednesday, La Liga regrets the “total disregard” FIFA has shown towards domestic competitions after world football’s governing body approved a 32-team Club World Cup as well as an expanded 48-nation World Cup.

FIFA announced on Tuesday of this week, ahead of its Congress in Kigali, Rwanda, that the 2026 World Cup will feature 104 matches instead of the traditional 64 fixtures due to the expanded format with 48 participating teams, and approved a 32-team Club World Cup to be played every four years in from June 2025.

According to LaLiga, FIFA has shown “complete disregard” for the importance of national competitions after approving a 32-team Club World Cup and an expanded World Cup with 104 matches.

“FIFA continues its bad practice of making unilateral decisions on the world football calendar, showing complete disregard for the importance of the National Championships and the football community in general”, a La Liga statement read.

“FIFA completely neglects the economic damage these decisions inflict on leagues around the world. Leagues were not consulted about any of the changes presented today, especially about 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 cramming an already overloaded schedule. FIFA only takes into account a small group of clubs and players.”

LaLiga added that they and other leagues in the World Leagues Forum (WLF), an organisation representing professional association football leagues, would “analyse FIFA’s decisions and decide on the most appropriate next steps”.

In December, the WLF criticised the announcement of a 32-team Club World Cup, saying it could have damaging consequences for the football economy and player welfare.

The revamped match calendars were approved by the FIFA Council, the main decision-making body of the world soccer organisation.

The FIFA Council has 37 members including president Gianni Infantino, 28 of which are elected by member associations. UEFA, which is Europe’s governing body, is also represented on the Council.

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