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FIFA Club World Cup 2025 set for U.S. east coast with Gold Cup on west

The expanded 2025 FIFA Club World Cup in the U.S. will be played primarily on the country’s east coast, multiple sources briefed on the tournament’s planning told The Athletic.

Putting Club World Cup games in the eastern time zone will benefit television audiences in Europe, home to many of the clubs that stand a good chance of winning the trophy.

Organizers’ reasoning for limiting the tournament’s matches to the east coast was also influenced by the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which will take place simultaneously in the U.S. To avoid stadium and logistical issues between the two competitions, sources said that FIFA and CONCACAF have agreed to stage the Gold Cup on the U.S.’s west coast.

The Gold Cup, North America and the Caribbean’s biannual continental competition, will overlap with the Club World Cup from June 14 to July 6, 2025. One source said that CONCACAF and FIFA are collaborating to create “smart schedules” so that fans can easily enjoy both tournaments. The Club World Cup, meanwhile, will begin on June 15, and finish on July 13.

In July, CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani told reporters that the two tournaments could overlap, but that Club World Cup and Gold Cup matches would not share kick-off times.

“You might have some overlaps in the group stage,” Montagliani said. “(We have to) make sure our kickoff times are coordinated. If you do it right, it’ll work. It’s up to us and FIFA to make sure it works and our teams work well together and I have no issues. We’re in those discussions already.”

With regard to the Club World Cup, some exceptions could be made. For example, it would make sense for MLS side Seattle Sounders, winners of the CONCACAF Champions Cup in 2022, to play at least one match at home. Additionally, cities in Texas, which is located in the U.S.’ central time zone, could be named Gold Cup host cities.

As of now, 19 of 32 teams have already qualified for the 2025 Club World Cup, which will feature eight four-team groups. Each club will play each other once and the top two teams will advance to the knockout stages, which will be single-legged. In a December announcement, FIFA stated that the revamped Club World Cup will be held every four years.

(Hossein/Middle East Images/AFP via Getty Images)

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