World Football

Majority vote in favour of biennial FIFA World Cup, reveals survey

Shaunak GhoshShaunak Ghosh

December 19 2021
FIFA World Cup
(Courtesy : ESPN)

The age category that is most supportive of holding more frequent men’s and women’s tournaments is 25-34.

FIFA is today publishing the results of an expanded survey regarding the frequency of the men’s and women’s FIFA World Cups. The survey, conducted from August to November 2021, is part of a wider consultation process with all stakeholders in the game. In May, 166 member associations voted for a feasibility study on a biennial FIFA World Cup™ and, since July, surveys involving more than 100,000 people from 140 countries have taken place.

In the expanded survey published today, approximately 77,000 people were asked if they would watch the FIFA World Cup more frequently, for example every two years, provided that player workload does not increase.

A reduction in international windows, and the protection of player health and well-being, is of primary importance to FIFA during the ongoing consultation process, with a mandatory rest period being proposed. When asked if they would like to see the FIFA World Cup held more frequently provided that player workload does not increase, over half of the total respondents said that they would be in favour for both the men’s and the women’s FIFA World Cups.

Of 30,390 people who said football was their favourite sport, the following key results are identified:

  • 63.7% of fans would like to see a more frequent men’s FIFA World Cup, with 23.3% replying maybe, 11% being opposed, and 2% having no opinion.
  • 52.4% of fans would like to see a more frequent FIFA Women’s World Cup™, with 28.4% replying maybe, 13.5% being opposed, and 5.7% having no opinion.
  • The age category that is most supportive of holding more frequent men’s and women’s FIFA World Cup is 25-34, and the 55+ bracket is the most opposed.

There is a variation in support between fans from different continents as represented by the confederations:


  • Men’s: 66% in favour, 26% maybe, 6% opposed, 2% no opinion
  • Women’s: 56% in favour, 29% maybe, 10% opposed, 5% no opinion


  • Men’s: 76% in favour, 14% maybe, 9% opposed, 1% no opinion
  • Women’s: 61% in favour, 23% maybe, 11% opposed, 5% no opinion

North, Central America and Caribbean

  • Men’s: 53% in favour, 26% maybe, 19% opposed, 2% no opinion
  • Women’s: 50% in favour, 29% maybe, 16% opposed, 5% no opinion 

South America

  • Men’s: 54% in favour, 25% maybe, 20% opposed, 1% no opinion
  • Women’s: 48% in favour, 31% maybe, 17% opposed, 4% no opinion 


  • Men’s: 55% in favour, 28% maybe, 13% opposed, 4% no opinion
  • Women’s: 49% in favour, 28% maybe, 14% opposed, 9% no opinion


  • Men’s: 48% in favour, 27% maybe, 21% opposed, 4% no opinion
  • Women’s: 33% in favour, 31% maybe, 25% opposed, 11% no opinion

Approval for more frequent men’s FIFA World Cups is particularly strong from football fans in:

  • Turkey: 87% in favour, 12% maybe, 1% opposed, 0% no opinion
  • India: 85% in favour, 12% maybe, 2% opposed, 1% no opinion
  • South Africa: 85% in favour, 9% maybe, 6%, opposed, 0% no opinion

Disapproval is particularly strong from football fans in:

  • England: 53% opposed, 15% in favour, 27% maybe, 5% no opinion
  • Germany: 50% opposed, 27% in favour, 22% maybe, 1% no opinion
  • France: 42% opposed, 33% in favour, 20% maybe, 5% no opinion 

Approval for more frequent FIFA Women’s World Cup is particularly strong from football fans in:

  • India: 81.7% in favour, 13.6% maybe, 2.9% opposed, 1.8% no opinion 
  • Turkey: 79% in favour, 17.7% maybe, 2.2% opposed, 1.1% no opinion
  • Vietnam: 76.5% in favour, 18.7% maybe, 3.2% opposed, 1.6% no opinion

Disapproval is particularly strong from football fans in:

  • England: 52% opposed, 19% maybe, 10% in favour, 19% no opinion
  • Germany: 48% opposed, 17% maybe, 21% in favour, 14% no opinion
  • France: 40% opposed, 22% maybe, 28% in favour, 10% no opinion 

“This has been one of the most comprehensive global sports market research studies ever conducted and the broadest,” said IRIS CEO Peter Weber of the survey, which included the use of market‑leading global panel providers such as YouGov, Dynata and CINT. “FIFA asked us to perform a study that was global in scope and respondents were drawn from a broadly representative number of member associations.”

Full details on the methodology and findings will be published on after a webinar on the consultation process.

In September 2021, FIFA published the findings of an initial survey involving 23,000 people from 23 countries. FIFA is also collating fan feedback submitted via in relation to the new international match calendars, which will apply from the end of 2023 (women) and 2024 (men).

A virtual global summit will take place on Monday 20 December 2021 involving all member associations to discuss the future of football.

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