The 2010 World Cup is projected to reach $850m while annual revenues for the major leagues in Europe range from $1.4bn in France, to about $2bn in Spain, Italy and Germany, and $3.5bn in England.

Unesco wants the leagues to back its support with cash amid fears the world will miss its target of getting all children into school by 2015.

The Unesco proposal has been sent to Sepp Blatter, Fifa's president.

For and against

Kevin Watkins, director of Unesco's upcoming Education for All global monitoring report, said: "The $48m in revenues from the levy is less than many of Europe's top clubs spend on a single footballer.

"This is a small price to pay for giving half a million children each year the chance for an education that could transform their lives."

But the English Premier League has not responded officially, though it has indicated that 14 per cent share of its revenues it already distributes to a range of groups and charities.

However, Fifa has not rejected the idea and has already committed at least 0.7% of its annual revenue to social development initiatives, including education, since 2007.