Infantino congratulates River Plate, Argentina’s first qualifier for 2025 Club World Cup

May 15 – Buenos Aires giants River Plate have qualified for the 2025 Club World Cup after overcoming Libertad from Paraguay on Tuesday in the Copa Libertadores, becoming the first Argentinian club to clinch a spot in the expanded 32-team tournament. 

The 2-0 victory over the Paraguayans also ensures River’s progress to the round of 16 in a competition that is increasingly dominated by Brazilian clubs. As previous Copa Libertadores winners, Flamengo, Palmeiras and Fluminense have already ensured their spot in the United States next year. South America have a six-slot allocation.

If River Plate go on to win the Copa Libertadores, Olimpia of Paraguay would be the next team to qualify. The club has close ties to Conmebol president Alejandro Dominguez. Olympia’s stadium is called Osvaldo Dominguez after the father of the South American confederation’s president.

On Instagram, FIFA president Gianni Infantino congratulated River Plate on their qualification. FIFA will stage the tournament on the West Coast as the world governing body seeks to build the club game around the world and tap into a lucrative market.

The post also suggests that FIFA is not taking seriously the Fifpro and World League Association’s threat of legal action if the 2025 Club World Cup is not suspended pending further discussion with them as stakeholders.

Previously, the Club World Cup was a quick-fire competition that ill-fitted the match calendar. Jeddah in Saudi Arabia staged the last edition as Manchester City defeated Fluminense of Brazil in the final to cement European domination of the tournament.

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