Conmebol, South American soccer’s governing body, has said its member nations will not take part in a biennial men’s World Cup, in the wake of its global counterpart Fifa attempting to drum up support for doubling the frequency of the prestigious tournament.

After a council meeting earlier this week, Conmebol said in a statement that “there are no reasons, benefits or justification for the plans”, which were first outlined by the Saudi Football Federation at Fifa’s annual congress in May, and are currently going through a feasibility study.

The 10 countries that make up Conmebol, “confirm they will not participate in a World Cup organised every two years”, the statement said.

Given that these countries include five-time winners Brazil and two-time winners Argentina, this represents a major threat to Fifa’s plans, which have also attracted vociferous and repeated criticism from the European soccer community in recent weeks and months.

Holding a World Cup every two years, Conmebol said, “turns its back on almost 100 years of world football tradition, ignoring the history of one of the most important sporting events on the planet".

The current quadrennial World Cup, it added, "has proven to be a successful model [that] rewards effort, talent and planned work”.

Last week, Fifa’s president, Gianni Infantino, said he wants to secure broad consensus on potential plans for a biennial men’s World Cup and on overall changes to the international match calendar.

It is expected that Fifa will hold a global summit on 20 December to discuss the proposals, although Infantino has not committed to a binding vote at that point, after Aleksander Ceferin, president of European soccer’s governing body Uefa, warned against such a vote, saying it would lead to “terrible consequences for soccer.”

Infantino has suggested that his organisation will wait for the results of the feasibility study, and also an economic analysis of the impact a biennial World Cup would have, both of which are expected to be delivered before the summit, before taking any decisive action.

Of soccer’s continental governing bodies, three – North and Central America’s Concacaf, the Asian Football Confederation and the Confederation of African Football – have either said they support the proposal or are willing to approach it with an open mind, while Uefa and equivalent (both of which carry significant weight in the game) have said they are categorically opposed to the idea.

The original suggestion for a biennial World Cup from the Saudis was referred to by Infantino as “an eloquent and detailed proposal” earlier this summer, and the subsequent vote to set up a feasibility study secured 166 votes in favour from the various worldwide national federations, with only 22 federations standing against.

The Fifa president has previously defended the idea of doubling the number of World Cups, saying earlier this month: “The prestige of an event depends on its quality, not its frequency … You have the [American football] Super Bowl every year, [tennis’] Wimbledon or the Champions League every year, and everyone is excited and waiting for it.”

Proponents of the biennial World Cup proposal have said it will give smaller nations a greater chance of competing on the world’s biggest stage and play more top-tier tournaments, while those who stand against the idea have said it will overwhelm the international fixture calendar and lead to an increase in player fatigue and injury.

The next Fifa World Cup is set for November and December 2022 in Qatar.