Soccer Leagues, UEFA Could Lose $9B From Biennial World Cups

    • Soccer leagues and UEFA could lose up to $9 billion from lost media income and other sources if the FIFA World Cup happens every two years.
    • Leagues have been united against the proposal.

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Soccer leagues have been united in their opposition to FIFA’s proposal to double the frequency of the World Cup, and a new study commissioned by domestic leagues shows why.

Biennial World Cups would collectively cost UEFA and domestic leagues $9 billion, according to the study.

The study focused on the major European leagues, UEFA, MLS, Mexico’s Liga MX, Japan’s J1 League, and South Africa’s top soccer league.

  • The study found that the 40 biggest domestic leagues would lose up to $5.6 billion in media deals, due to a more compressed calendar and other schedule changes.
  • In September, FIFA released a survey of 23,000 soccer fans across 23 countries, showing broad support for biennial World Cups, particularly among younger fans.
  • FIFA earned $6.4 billion between 2017 and 2020. More than 70% of that sum came during the World Cup year of 2018.

UEFA, the Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A have already voiced their disapproval of FIFA’s plan for more frequent World Cups.

Last month, more than a dozen UEFA teams floated the idea of quitting FIFA in protest if the organization goes forward with its plan.