Thursday 16 September 2021 4:29 pm

Survey shows that most football fans want World Cup every two years, says Fifa

Fifa has stepped up its push for biennial World Cups by reporting that most football fans support the controversial proposals.

The world governing body cited a survey of 23,000 people in 23 countries undertaken in July as part of a wider feasibility study.

Fifa did not reveal any further figures but said it had drawn a number of conclusions, including that “the majority of fans would like to see a more frequent men’s World Cup”.

“Of this, the preferred frequency is biennial,” it added.

The World Cup has taken place on a four-year cycle since it began in 1930 but Fifa, led by president Gianni Infantino, has raised the prospect of staging the tournament every other year.

European governing body Uefa, whose own international tournament would be threatened by additional World Cups, is firmly opposed to the plans.

Infantino has broad support elsewhere, however, with 161 of 211 member associations backing the feasibility study earlier this year.

Fifa reported its survey found “considerable differences between the so-called traditional markets and the developing football markets”.

It added: “Younger generations in all regions are more open and interested in change than older generations.”

An expanded survey covering 100,000 fans in 100 countries is currently underway, Fifa said.

Fifa initially only discussed more regular men’s World Cups but has since said it would also like the women’s tournament to be biennial.

The move could be approved as soon as this year and take effect from 2028.

Qatar is due to host the men’s World Cup in November and December next year, with the US, Canada and Mexico jointly staging the 2026 tournament.

Australia and New Zealand are host nations for the next women’s World Cup, in 2023.