FIFA president Gianni Infantino is looking to continue his complete overhaul of international football with a proposed new tournament that will replace the Confederations Cup.
In a letter received by Reuters, Infantino lays out plans for the project that is currently only titled ‘Final 8.’ The tournament would be a direct follow on from the upcoming Nations League, taking place every two years as of October and/or November 2021.
The Confederations Cup is a trophy competed for by the seven current reigning continental or world champions and a host nation, in every odd year following a round of continental tournaments. Teams qualify by winning either UEFA European Championship, CAF Cup of Nations, CONCACAF Gold Cup, CONMEBOL Copa America, OFC Nations Cup, AFC Asian Cup or FIFA World Cup.
The next tournament is currently scheduled to take place in Qatar 2021 but that could now be scrapped in favour of the new format. With dwindling interest in the tournament, Infantino believes an overhaul could prove popular and reportedly already has a ‘solid and serious’ group of investors ready to spend up to $25 billion on it.
The letter did not clearly indicate how qualification will work or how many slots would be allocated to each region. It will serve as a climax to the Nations League though, so it is likely the winner of each respective league will qualify for the new competition.
Infantino still hasn’t been able to roll out his Nations League reform worldwide but European body UEFA and their North American counterparts CONCACAF have already set up leagues in their regions.
The Nations League will see all international teams separated into leagues, in a format similar to domestic football. Teams are allocated a league based on their FIFA World Ranking, with a cycle of promotions and relegations at the end of each season.
Leagues are broken into four mini-leagues, with the winner of each competing in a playoff to determine the overall league champion.
Whilst specific details are still unknown, it is believed that any governing body that doesn’t adopt the Nations League approach, would be ineligible for qualification to the new competition.
Plans are still very much a formative phase, the letter in question is actually no more than a proposal to FIFA’s decision-making Council. Infantino has had good success with his reforms so far though and looks likely to press ahead with this new idea.