China to host expanded Club World Cup in 2021

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SHANGHAI, CHINA (OCTOBER 24, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. FIFA PRESIDENT GIANNI INFANTINO WALKING INTO PRESS ROOM

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2. INFANTINO AND FIFA OFFICIAL SITTING AT PODIUM

3. MEDIA SITTING

4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIFA PRESIDENT GIANNI INFANTINO, SAYING:

"And it is indeed a historic decision for football because the FIFA council decided today unanimously to appoint China P.R. as the hosts of the new FIFA World Cup for clubs."

5. MEDIA

6. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIFA PRESIDENT GIANNI INFANTINO, SAYING:

"The new FIFA World Cup for clubs will be a competition which every person, every child, every, and anyone who loves football is looking forward to. It is the first real and true World Cup where the best teams in the world, the best clubs in the world will compete. This World Cup will feature 24 teams and it will be held in June-July in China of 2021."

7. MEDIA SITTING

8. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIFA PRESIDENT GIANNI INFANTINO, SAYING:

"Of course that we have also a social responsibility due to the magnitude and the power that the football brings with it. And we have to assume the social responsibility in a very serious way, and we do that. But we don't do that by attacking, criticising anyone. We do that by going to the people, we do that by speaking with the people, we do that by bringing football to the people. And by bringing football to the people all over the world, we bring smile, we bring joy, we bring hope."

9. INFANTINO, SAYING (English and Chinese): "THANK YOU VERY MUCH, XIEXIE" AND LEAVING NEWS CONFERENCE

STORY: China will host the first edition of the new, expanded 24-team Club World Cup in 2021, FIFA president Gianni Infantino told reporters on Thursday (October 24) following a meeting of the global soccer body's decision-making council in Shanghai.

FIFA announced it would revamp the tournament to feature 24 teams from 2021, with Infantino saying the competition would take place in June-July of that year. He did not give a precise breakdown but said the competition will feature eight teams from Europe, one from China, one from Oceania and three each from the other continental confederations.

The criteria for selecting the teams would be decided in the next few weeks, he said.

When asked about how the NBA's current experience in China will influence FIFA's considerations for the event, Infantino said that FIFA has a "social responsibility" by "bringing football to the people".

The NBA's business in China has taken a turn for the worst following a Houston Rockets executive's tweet supporting Hong Kong protesters.

Infantino also announced that the hosts for the 2030 World Cup would be chosen at the FIFA Congress in 2024 and that the global soccer body intended to invest $1 billion in women's football over the next four years.

The Club World Cup currently consists of seven teams and is held every December. Qatar will stage the final two editions, including the one this year.

(Production: Jiang Xihao)

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