Players Align With UEFA, Oppose Biennial World Cup

    • 75% of 1,000 soccer players surveyed opposed a biennial World Cup.
    • The Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and UEFA have voiced their disapproval.

Soccer players are joining sides with UEFA, the Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A in their disapproval of a biennial World Cup.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino proposed that the event take place every two years starting in 2024, and it’s pretty clear why. The governing body earned $6.4 billion between 2017 and 2020, and more than 70% of that came from 2018, when the last World Cup took place.

In a study conducted by the players’ representative body, FIFPRO, 75% of 1,000 players from 70 nationalities surveyed said they wanted to keep the tournament every four years.

  • Europe and Asia saw 77% of respondents oppose the plan.
  • In the Americas, 63% opposed it.
  • Africa saw only 49% disagree with it.

Despite the strong results, only 21% of respondents said they believe their voice is respected and their wellbeing is considered by soccer governance. In October, more than a dozen UEFA teams raised the idea of quitting FIFA in protest if the proposal advances.

Falling Finances

Major European leagues are also at the risk of losing money from a biennial World Cup. A separate study commissioned by domestic leagues found that biennial World Cups would cost UEFA and domestic leagues a collective $9 billion.

It also found that the 40 biggest domestic leagues could lose up to $5.6 billion in media deals.