Connect with us


What The 2025 Club World Cup Will Bring To One Of Asia’s Top Sides



What The 2025 Club World Cup Will Bring To One Of Asia’s Top Sides

With less than one year to go until the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup, there are some doubts over whether the 32-team tournament will happen at all.

The host cities are yet to be decided, key sponsorship and TV deals are not yet confirmed, and players are threatening to boycott the tournament.

But much of the criticism of it has come from Europe, while for teams from the rest of the world, the tournament could be a game changer.

South Korean side Ulsan HD, who qualified for the tournament based on their four-year Asian Football Confederation ranking, are one such team looking forward to the Club World Cup.

Ulsan HD’s CEO Kim Kwang-kug says he anticipates that “this experience will bring the biggest growth in the club’s 42-year history.”

He says that by playing in the Club World Cup, Ulsan’s “competitiveness in various aspects, including performance and administration, as well as our fan club and other affiliated groups, will experience remarkable growth.”

Teams from at least 20 nations will be competing in the tournament, playing at least three group games against opponents from around the world.

This is something the previous Club World Cup format didn’t allow. When Ulsan played in the 2020 tournament, they only had the chance to face Mexican side Tigres and Qatari hosts Al-Duhail. Kim says “competing with the best teams on the global stage and promoting our team widely are what we are looking forward to the most.”

Ulsan’s head coach at the 2020 Club World Cup, Hong Myung-bo, speaking before he was appointed as South Korea’s new national team head coach, said that the 2020 tournament “ended somewhat regrettably due to the pandemic and an imperfect team,” but that Ulsan want to use the 2025 Club World Cup as an “opportunity to showcase what we can do.”

As well as the chance to play against some of the world’s biggest clubs, teams like Ulsan will also see a financial windfall, which CEO Kim says “will provide a major boost to the club’s finances” and allow them not only to sign players that can have an immediate impact, but also help them nurture the next generation of young players.

Finances are a large part of the reason for this tournament. While UEFA’s revenue comes from both the European Championships and from its annual club competitions like the Champions League, FIFA’s coffers only get filled once every four years from revenue from the World Cup.

There’s a lot of money in soccer, but most of that money stays within the European game. If this larger Club World Cup is a success, FIFA would have two major revenue-making events in each four-year cycle, which would increase what FIFA could do, and maybe spread some of that wealth to other confederations.

Players’ unions have threatened FIFA with legal action over the Club World Cup, saying that the heavy schedule impacts players’ health. But many of those same players are at clubs that wanted an expansion of the UEFA Champions League from this season and who are heading to the U.S. on long pre-season tours this summer. FIFA says its matches would make up around 2% of the total fixtures of teams competing in continental competitions.

Hong points out that unlike European teams, which could use this tournament as a pre-season tour of sorts, for Ulsan, “since the Club World Cup takes place in the middle of our season, a different approach is required for our preparations.”

Despite the extra games, it is a competition that Ulsan’s players are looking forward to playing in.

Ulsan’s club captain Kim Kee-hee, who could face his former side Seattle Sounders at the Club World Cup, said “the schedule will be tough and the tournament will be hot, but the excitement outweighs the worries.”

Continue Reading