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Man Utd and Liverpool 'locked out' of playing in new Club World Cup tournament after FIFA decision

Man Utd and Liverpool 'locked out' of playing in new Club World Cup tournament after FIFA decision

Liverpool and United won't be involved.

Manchester United and Liverpool have both been 'locked out' of playing in the new FIFA-backed Club World Cup after the rules of the competition were confirmed.

FIFA has long considered changing the format of the Club World Cup, which currently contains seven teams - the winner of each continental competition and the hosts' national champion.

This season's European representatives are Manchester City, who will travel to Jeddah to play Japanese side Urawa Red Dragons in the semi-final on Tuesday.

Jeddah was also the location for the latest FIFA Council meeting, which took place on Sunday and determined the rules for the new competition.

It has been decided that a maximum of two clubs from one country can qualify for the tournament, which will be held between an expanded number of 32 teams.

As reported by Sky Sports' Kaveh Solhekol, the qualifying criteria means that England's two places will be handed to the country's two most recent Champions League winners - which are Chelsea and Manchester City.

With the criteria based upon a four-year cycle, though, the cap on two English clubs being allowed to qualify will be lifted if a third club wins the Champions League over the four-year qualifying cycle, which began in 2021.

As a result, therefore, Arsenal can still qualify if they lift the trophy this season for the first time in their history.

But Liverpool and Manchester United are now unable to qualify, as previous Champions League performances over the past three years will not count in the qualification process.

Jurgen Klopp's side finished as runners-up in 2022, but are not playing in the Champions League this season, while United are out of Europe entirely.

Solhekol adds that Europe will have 12 clubs in the tournament, with spaces decided based on Champions League performances between 2020/21 and the current season.

Benfica and Porto are guaranteed to take Portugal's two spots via this metric, with Bayern Munich, PSG and Inter Milan also having qualified due to their current co-efficient rankings.

The news may come as a relief to Liverpool and United, however, with the Club World Cup set to move from its traditional December timeslot to closer to the summer, in order to coincide with the seasons in North America and South America, as per The Athletic.

Playing in the competition, therefore, could disrupt pre-season plans - although there is an argument that playing competitive football at this stage may come as a major boost instead.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Premier League, Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, FIFA