© Samuel ShivambuAuthor: NJ HoveMamelodi Sundowns are set to participate in the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup. For Masandawana, this qualification is the second for the Tshwane giants. Joining Sundowns in representing the continent are fellow African giants Wydad Casablanca, Al Ahly and Esperance Tunis. Together, these clubs form a formidable quartet representing the pinnacle of African Football, poised to compete among the world’s best and assert Africa's dominance in the beautiful game. But what exactly does this prestigious tournament entail?
Background and History of the Tournament
The FIFA Club World Cup, launched in 2000 as the FIFA Club World Championship, has evolved into a premier global football tournament. Initially held biennially, it transitioned to an annual event in 2005, featuring the top teams from each continental confederation: UEFA, CONMEBOL, CAF, AFC, CONCACAF, and OFC, with the host nation also receiving a slot. The tournament format included quarterfinals, semifinals, and the final match, with position play-offs for third, fourth, fifth and sixth place. Despite occasional challenges and proposals for expansion, FIFA remained clear in its vision to transform the pinnacle event in the football calendar- a dream which will be realised in the 2025 Edition.
Sundowns are not new to the tournament
Mamelodi Sundowns has a rich history on the global stage, having qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup in 2016, a first for any South African team. They secured their spot by winning the CAF Champions League in 2016. Although the team fell short against Japan’s Kashima Antlers and South Korea’s Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Bafana Ba Style’s participation marked a significant milestone for the team and South African football as a whole. The Brazilians would go on to win the CAF Super Cup in 2017.
Slot Allocation Criteria
The slot allocation for the FIFA Club World Cup 2025, approved by the FIFA Council on February 14, 2023, was based on a comprehensive set of objective metrics and criteria. UEFA secured the largest number of slots with twelve, reflecting the strength and depth of European club football. Following closely, CONMEBOL received six slots, highlighting the dominance of South American clubs in the international arena. The AFC, CAF, and CONCACAF were each allocated four slots, ensuring representation from Asia, Africa, and North America, respectively. The OFC and the host association were granted one slot each, ensuring inclusion from Oceania and the host country. These allocation principles, ratified on March 14, 2023, aimed to provide fair and equitable opportunities for clubs across different confederations, based on their performance in top club competitions held between 2021 and 2024.
© Samuel Shivambu - Backpage PixFormat of the Competition
The FIFA Club World Cup 2025 features an electrifying format designed to captivate audiences worldwide. The competition kicks off with a group stage comprising eight groups, each consisting of four teams. Teams will battle it out in a single-game round-robin format, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the knockout stage. This knockout stage will feature a series of intense one-legged matches, culminating in the highly anticipated final showdown. Unlike previous editions, there will be no third-place play-off, heightening the intensity of each encounter. This format ensures that every match is a high-stakes affair, brimming with drama and excitement.

FIFA Club World Cup 2025 Dates and Host Country Revealed
FIFA's decision to host the 2025 tournament in the United States underscores its commitment to expanding football markets beyond traditional strongholds. The vibrant setting of the United States, with its rich cultural tapestry and growing enthusiasm for the sport, provides an ideal stage for the revamped FIFA Club World Cup. Set to unfold from June 15 to July 13, 2025, these carefully selected dates align with the International Match Calendar, ensuring optimal player rest and kicking off the excitement just in time for the summer season.
© Samuel Shivambu - Backpage PixHere are the Clubs that have secured qualification for the FIFA Club World Cup 2025: Africa (CAF):
● Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)
● ES Tunis (Tunisia)
● Wydad (Morocco)
● Al Ahly (Egypt)
Asia (AFC):
● Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia)
● Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan)
● Ulsan HD FC (Korea Republic)
● Al Ain (UAE)
Europe (UEFA):
● Chelsea (England)
● Real Madrid (Spain)
● Manchester City (England)
● Bayern Munich (Germany)
● Paris Saint-Germain (France)
● Inter Milan (Italy)
● Porto (Portugal)
● Benfica (Portugal)
● Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
● Juventus (Italy)
● Atletico Madrid (Spain)
● Red Bull Salzburg (Austria)
North & Central America, Caribbean (Concacaf):
● Monterrey (Mexico)
● Seattle Sounders (United States)
● Club Leon (Mexico)
● Pachuca (Mexico)
Oceania (OFC):
● Auckland City (New Zealand)
South America (CONMEBOL):
● Palmeiras (Brazil)
● Flamengo (Brazil)
● Fluminense (Brazil)
● River Plate (Argentina)
● Winners of the 2024 Copa Libertadores
● TBD – based on CONMEBOL 4-year ranking
● TBD – To be decided