Global attitudes towards the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia

The latest Ipsos Global Advisor survey was conducted in 27 countries around the world and explores the attitudes towards the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. The poll was carried out in the period between 20th April and 4th May 2018 among adults aged under 65 via the Ipsos Online Panel.

  • Worldwide, more than two in ten respondents, who are aware of the FIFA World Cup 2018, believe that Germany will take home the Cup. Brazil, Spain and Argentina are also among the favourites.
  • Overall, people have predominantly positive opinions about the games being held in Russia.
  • Russians show little interest in football. Less than one out of ten Russians consider themselves as passionate football followers.
  • Watching World Cup Football is a social experience: more than eight in ten will watch the games with family and/or friends.
  • The majority, or six in ten, will watch games on a TV set, whilst a quarter will follow the football on the internet.
  • Real fans: Globally nearly one in four state they will miss work or school during the tournament.

Germany is considered to be the favourite to win the FIFA World Cup in 2018

Nearly one quarter (23%) of respondents think Germany will win the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.  Brazil was the next most popular pick for winner (21%), followed by Spain (11%), Argentina (8%), France (4%), Portugal (3%), England (3%) and Russia (2%). In Australia 21% chose Germany and 19% Brazil.

High approval rates for the host country Russia

A strong majority of people around the world have positive opinions about the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.

  • Nearly three in four respondents globally (73%) and two in three (67%) in Australia believe that Russia will be a successful venue for the World Cup.
  • Three in four respondents globally (75%) and 70% in Australia believe that the games will be beneficial to the citizens of Russia.
  • Seven in ten globally, and two thirds in Australia, believe that the World Cup will be safe for visitors, whereas perceptions of safety for fans from our own countries is a little less positive at 67% globally and 64% in Australia. There is however a large discrepancy in the evaluation of safety between different countries. More than nine in ten people (91%) in Serbia agree that it is safe for Serbian football fans to attend the World Cup, whereas only three in ten Britains (31%) agree that it is safe for their people to travel to Russia.
  • More than half of the respondents worldwide (56%) and less than half in Australia (47%) think better about Russia as a country for hosting the World Cup.
  • Nevertheless, three out of ten respondents globally (28%) and in Australia (31%) think that their national team should boycott the World Cup in Russia. 

Trust in FIFA is moderate and varies heavily from country to country

Globally, six in ten people (60%) trust FIFA to always do the best in the interest of football and its spectators, with Australians being among the less positive nations at 50%. Great Britain (32%) were the least likely to trust FIFA.

However, less than half of those interviewed (46%) think that the preparations towards the World Cup have been free from corruption. Again, Australians (36%) were among the more negative nations Great Britain (20%) were least likely to believe this.

Furthermore, three quarters (75%) consider that the World Cup nowadays is more concerned with corporate sponsorship than individual sportsmanship. Once again, Australians (79%) were among the more negative nations, with Serbia (90%) the most negative.

Russian hosts show little interest in football

Interestingly, Russians show the least interest in football (soccer): less than one out of ten Russians (9%) consider themselves to be passionate football (soccer) followers. Moreover, 20% consider themselves followers who watch their favourite team and national team, one third of the Russian population (35 %) state that they watch games only occasionally while 36 % suggest that they do not follow football (soccer) at all.

In Australia, 15% of our respondents considered themselves passionate soccer followers, 24% followers, 31% occasional watchers and 30% don’t follow or watch soccer.

Football as a social experience

A vast majority of viewers will watch the 2018 World Cup in good company. Worldwide, more than eight in ten people (84 %) who intend to follow the tournament will probably or definitely watch the games with relatives and/or friends.  In Australia it was 80% of respondents.

Furthermore, every second viewer (49%) expects to follow the World Cup with work colleagues, with only 42% of Australian respondents expect to do so.

Almost half of all respondents globally (48%) and in Australia (47%) who are aware of the FIFA World Cup expect to see part of the event in a bar or restaurant.

Television sets are the most popular media devices to watch the Football World Cup

Despite the ongoing digitalization of everyday live, television sets remain the most popular media devices to watch the World Cup in 2018. Globally, more than six in ten viewers (62%) will use a television set to follow the tournament, while one quarter of the respondents (25%) who plan to watch the event will use the Internet to do so. Mobile devices (13%), tablet devices (8%) and the radio (6%) are less popular.

Methodology

  • In total 19,766 interviews were conducted between 20 April and 04 May, 2018.
  • The survey was conducted in 27 countries around the world, via the Ipsos Online Panel system in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Great Britain, and the USA.
  • Approximately 1000 individuals aged 16-64 or 18-64 were surveyed in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Great Britain, and the USA. Approximately 500 individuals aged 16-64 were surveyed in Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey.
  • A Screener identified 12,207 individuals who stated to have seen, heard or read about the FIFA World Cup. This group responded to the subsequent questions.
  • Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be+-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don't knows or not stated responses.
  • The data are weighted to match the profile of the population. 16 of the 28 countries surveyed generate nationally representative samples in their countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Poland, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and United States). Brazil, Chile, China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey produce a national sample that is considered to represent a more affluent, connected population. These are still a vital social group to understand in these countries, representing an important and emerging middle class.
  • This study did not have any external sponsors or partners.  It was initiated and run by Ipsos, because we are curious about the world we live in and how citizens around the globe think and feel about their world.

Society