The debate over a biennial World Cup has been the subject of strong opinions from politicians, sponsors and governing bodies, most commonly in opposition. Now, finally, players have had their say and they appear to be against it too.

A survey by the international players’ union Fifpro has found that 75% of players in the men’s game want the tournament to continue on a four-year cycle. It also has good news for organisers Fifa, however, showing that players consider the World Cup to be the most important competition in the professional game, alongside their own domestic leagues.

Compiling the response of 1,000 current professionals from across six continents and more than 70 nationalities, the survey found the strongest opposition to the tournament in Europe and Asia with 77% of players preferring a World Cup every four years; 63% of players in the Americas were opposed too, but there was less resistance in Africa with only 49% of players supporting the current format and the rest split between a two- or three-year cycle. In total, 81% of players rank either their domestic league, or the World Cup as their favourite competition.