Real Madrid rejects Club World Cup invitation in row over cash for participation

Monday, June 10, 2024 - Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that the Spanish giants will not play at next year's Club World Cup.

The competition is set to be expanded to 32 teams and will be played across four weeks in the US next summer following the conclusion of the 2024-25 season.

The Spanish club was expected to be one of the standout clubs to take part - having won the tournament on five occasions in the last nine years, but Ancelotti has confirmed that his team will not play due to FIFA not offering enough money, and believes other sides will follow suit.

'FIFA forgets that the clubs and players will not participate in that tournament,' Ancelotti said in an interview with Il Giornale, as quoted by Relevo.

'A single Real Madrid match is worth €20million (£17m) and they want to give us that money for the entire competition. Negative.

'Real Madrid, like other clubs, we will decline the invitation.'

FIFA's decision to expand the Club World Cup has been criticised in recent weeks due to concerns over player welfare.

Premier League and La Liga chiefs have threatened to boycott the competition, and accused FIFA of 'killing the game' by adding more matches to an already-packed football calendar.

PFA boss Maheta Molango even revealed that legal action could be taken against FIFA if they don't row back on their plans to expand the Club World Cup.

'Those who run the game need to listen,' he told The Sun. 'If they don’t, then as unions we have a responsibility to the players to take action — and the legal route is the next step.

'The governing bodies have had every chance to meaningfully engage with us on this, but they have failed to do so. Current player workloads are unsustainable.'

Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano also believes moving to a 32-team format represents part of a 'crisis' when it comes to fixture scheduling, hinting that the Premier League champions may also consider whether participating is in their best interests.

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