Global players' survey gives thumbs-down to two-year World Cup

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Soccer World Cup trophy (Getty Images)
Soccer World Cup trophy (Getty Images)

Footballers around the world have given a resounding red card to FIFA's proposal to hold the World Cup every two years, according to a survey by players' global union Fifpro.

The findings, released on Tuesday, showed 75% of more than 1,000 male players questioned over the global governing body's plans to shake-up the international calendar were in favour of retaining the tournament's current four-year cycle.

In Europe and Asia 77% of players supported maintaining the status quo, against 63% from the Americas.

In Africa the figure dropped to 49%, with the remainder split between holding the competition every two or three years.

"While a clear majority of players support the current frequency of the World Cup, a demand exists, particularly in smaller and medium-sized markets, to further develop and strengthen national team competitions," Fifpro said.

When asked to pick their preferred competition 81% singled out their domestic league or the World Cup "in its current four-year cycle".

Fifpro general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann said the survey showed "most footballers around the world have a clear preference to play the World Cup every four years".

He said the results also underlined the importance of domestic league competitions to players.

"These leagues are the bedrock of our game and we have to do more to strengthen them both for the sake of players and the overall stability of professional football."

Another key finding he pointed out was that "only 21 percent of them believe that their voice is respected and that their well-being is adequately considered in the context of international football governance".

"Therefore, this survey underlines the need for more collective bargaining frameworks in our industry, especially at the international level.

The controversial switch to a two-year World Cup cycle championed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino is opposed by a block comprising the European and South American federations and major clubs, but backed by the Confederation of African Football.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
Southampton 0
Everton 0
loading... Live
Liverpool 1
Brighton and Hove Albion 2
loading... Live
Fulham 0
Newcastle United 3
loading... Live
Crystal Palace 1
Chelsea 1
loading... Live
AFC Bournemouth 0
Brentford 0
loading... Live
Ospreys 7
Glasgow Warriors 0
loading... Live
Orlando Pirates 0
Mamelodi Sundowns 0
Voting Booth
Would you be keen to see the Springboks join the Six Nations?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes! The Northern Hemisphere is the future.
53% - 6027 votes
No! The Rugby Championship is still the pinnacle.
47% - 5289 votes
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.