Real Madrid DENY that they are set to boycott next year's expanded Club World Cup after Carlo Ancelotti appeared to claim his team would not play due to a pay dispute... as the Italian manager insists he was 'misinterpreted'

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Real Madrid have denied that they will reject an invitation to take part in next year's Club World Cup after manager Carlo Ancelotti appeared to claim in an interview that the Spanish giants would boycott the competition due to a pay dispute.

The competition is set to be expanded to 32 teams and will be played across four weeks in the US next summer following the conclusion of the 2024-25 season, with Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea all set to be involved.

However, Ancelotti cast doubt over Madrid's participation as he told Il Giornale that his team were not planning on playing due to FIFA not offering enough money, and he expected other sides to follow suit.

But Madrid have since released a statement insisting they full intend to play in the competition they have won five times in the last nine years. 

The statement read: 'Real Madrid CF announces that at no time has its participation in the new Club World Cup to be organised by FIFA in the upcoming 2024/2025 season been questioned. 

Carlo Ancelotti was quoted as saying Real Madrid would reject an invitation to play at the Club World Cup next year

Carlo Ancelotti was quoted as saying Real Madrid would reject an invitation to play at the Club World Cup next year

Carlo Ancelotti was quoted as saying Real Madrid would reject an invitation to play at the Club World Cup next year

Real Madrid have released a statement denying that they are intending to drop out

Real Madrid have released a statement denying that they are intending to drop out

Ancelotti then took to Instagram to insist he had been misinterpreted and that he does want his side to play in the newly-expanded competition

Ancelotti then took to Instagram to insist he had been misinterpreted and that he does want his side to play in the newly-expanded competition

Real Madrid have won the competition five times in the last nine years

Real Madrid have won the competition five times in the last nine years

'Therefore, our club will compete, as planned, in this official competition that we face with pride and with the utmost enthusiasm to make our millions of fans around the world dream again with a new title.'

Ancelotti took to Instagram shortly afterwards, claiming his quotes from the earlier interview had been misinterpreted.

'In my interview with Il Giornale, my words on the Club World Cup were not interpreted in the way that I intended,' he wrote.

'Nothing could be further from the truth than rejecting the possibility of playing in a tournament that I consider could be a great opportunity to continue fighting for big titles with Real Madrid.'

His words were in sharp contrast to what he had been quoted as saying by Il Giornale, as the Italian publication claimed he told them: 'FIFA forgets that the clubs and players will not participate in that tournament.

Ancelotti had appeared to suggest FIFA president Gianni Infantino (pictured) wasn't offering clubs enough money to take part in the Club World Cup

Ancelotti had appeared to suggest FIFA president Gianni Infantino (pictured) wasn't offering clubs enough money to take part in the Club World Cup

'A single Real Madrid match is worth €20million (£17m) and they want to give us that money for the entire competition. Negative. 

'Real Madrid, like other clubs, we will decline the invitation.'

Madrid now look set to join Chelsea and City - England's two representatives in the tournament - having won the Champions League in 2021 and 2023 respectively. 

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Premier League and LaLiga chiefs 'threaten to BOYCOTT next year's expanded Club World Cup'... as they accuse FIFA of 'killing the game'

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They make up two of the 12 European nations invited to the competition, which include the winners of Europe's premier trophy from each of the past four seasons. The rest of the continent's slots have been allocated based on club's UEFA ranking over the past four years.

They'll be joined by four teams from Asia and four from Africa, as well as six from South America and four from North America. Oceania gets one spot, with the final place allocated to an MLS side on behalf of the host nation. 

Host cities in the US are yet to be determined. 

The 32 teams will be divided into eight groups, from which the top two will qualify for the last-16 stage.  

FIFA's decision to expand the Club World Cup has been criticised in recent weeks due to concerns over player welfare.

Premier League and LaLiga chiefs have threatened to boycott the competition, and accused FIFA of 'killing the game' by adding more matches to an already-packed football calendar.

Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano (right) believes the expansion is part of a 'crisis' for fixture scheduling

Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano (right) believes the expansion is part of a 'crisis' for fixture scheduling

TEAMS QUALIFIED FOR FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP SO FAR 

EUROPEAN TEAMS (12 spaces):

Chelsea, Real Madrid, Man City, Bayern Munich, PSG, Inter, Porto, Benfica, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Red Bull Salzburg

SOUTH AMERICAN TEAMS (six spaces):

Palmeiras, Flamengo, Fluminese, River Plater (Two spots TBC)

NORTH AMERICAN TEAMS (four spaces, plus host spot):

Monterrey, Seattle Sounders, Leon, Pachuca (One spot TBC) 

ASIAN TEAMS (four spaces): 

Al-Hilal, Urawa Red Diamonds, Al Ain, Ulsan HD

AFRICAN TEAMS (four spaces):

Al Ahly, Wydad Casablanca, Esperance de Tunis, Mamelodi Sundowns

OCEANIAN TEAMS (one space):

Auckland City 

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PFA boss Maheta Molango even revealed that legal action could be taken against FIFA if they don't row back on their plans to expand the Club World Cup.

'Those who run the game need to listen,' he told The Sun. 'If they don't, then as unions we have a responsibility to the players to take action — and the legal route is the next step.

'The governing bodies have had every chance to meaningfully engage with us on this, but they have failed to do so. Current player workloads are unsustainable.'

Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano also believes moving to a 32-team format represents part of a 'crisis' when it comes to fixture scheduling, hinting that the Premier League champions may also consider whether participating is in their best interests.

However, PSG owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi has no intention of withdrawing his side from the competition, and has insisted the Club World Cup will be 'bigger than the World Cup'

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