Malaysians' Attitudes Towards The FIFA World Cup 2018

Ipsos recently conducted an online study in 27 countries around the globe to explore the attitudes towards the FIFA World Cup 2018, to be held in Russia.

Malaysians' Attitudes Towards The FIFA World Cup 2018


  • 25% OF Malaysians who are aware of the FIFA World Cup 2018, believe that Brazil will take home the cup, while 23% of worldwide respondents believe that the 2014 reigning champions, Germany will hold on to the cup.
  • Malaysians are passionate football followers. 24% of Malaysians will be watching as many games as possible, while 27% will only watch games played by their favourite teams.
  • Watching World Cup Football is a social experience: almost 9 in 10 Malaysians (88%) will watch the games with family/friends.
  • While most Malaysians (61%), will watch the games on a TV set, almost one quarter of Malaysians (24%) will follow the games on their mobile devices.
  • Malaysians are football memorabilia enthusiasts - 6 in 10 (64%) of them intend to buy World-Cup themed products.

Ipsos, a global market research agency conducted an online study in 27 countries around the world to explore the attitudes towards the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.

Brazil is Malaysians pick to win the FIFA World Cup in 2018:

Malaysians believe that the Brazilian football team (25%) will win the finals of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, followed by national teams of Germany (19%) and Spain (11%). Worldwide, nearly one fourth (23%) of the respondents think that Germany will come up tops in the sporting event, followed by the national teams of Brazil (21%) and Spain (11%).

If Germany does not take the cup, almost 2 in 10 people (18%) believe that they will at least come in second place. Another 15% of worldwide respondents believe Brazil will be the runner-up. Malaysians share the same runner-up favourites, picking the football teams of Germany (16%) and Brazil (14%).

Predictions of World Cup 2018 winners

Malaysians are passionate football followers

More than half (51%) are passionate followers of the World Cup. 24% of Malaysians indicated they will be watching as many games as possible, while 27% will follow the games but will only watch games where their favourite teams are playing.

Russian hosts show the least interest in football: less than 1 in 10 Russians (9%) consider themselves to be passionate football followers. Moreover, one third of the Russian population (35%) state that they watch games only occasionally, while 36% suggest that they do not follow football at all. 

World Cup merchandise are popular among Malaysians

For many people, their passion for the games goes so far that they even expect to miss work or school (23%) during the World Cup season. Moreover, 35% of Malaysians say they will have a good luck charm that they will keep with them during the World Cup games. Meanwhile, more than 6 in 10 Indians (63%) and more than 5 in 10 US-Americans (54%) admit this habit.

Attitudes towards football as a sport

Football as a social experience among Malaysians

A vast majority of viewers will watch the 2018 World Cup in good company. Worldwide, more than 8 in 10 people (84%) who intend to follow the tournament will probably or definitely watch the games with relatives and/or friends. Malaysians share the enthusiasm with an astounding 9 in 10 (88%) indicating they will be watching the games with family and/or friends. Malaysians are planning to bring the football fever to work, because they expect to watch the games with their work colleagues (70%) and almost half of all Malaysians (49%) will watch the games in a bar or restaurant.

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

Despite ongoing digitalization of everyday life, television sets remain the most popular media devices (61%) among Malaysians to watch the World Cup in 2018. Fewer but still a significant number of Malaysians plan to watch the event via their mobile devices (24%).

World Cup Sponsors

Adidas (78%), Coca-cola (75%) and McDonald's (54%) were the Top 3 brands that Malaysians are aware of, whom they identified as the official sponsors of FIFA World Cup 2018.

Commenting on the findings, Michael Looi, Associate Director of Operations, Malaysia: "I have been a supporter of the Italian football team, which sadly didn't qualify for The World Cup. This doesn't stop me from watching as many games as is humanly possible as this is the only time for me to see world class players playing at an event that only occurs once every four years. Malaysians probably picked Brazil over Germany due to their flair and technical abilities and it will be a great redemption for Brazil following their 7-1 defeat to Germany in their own home country. It is very rare for Germany to win the World Cup back-to-back because it has only ever happened twice before to Brazil and Italy.

This year's Hari Raya will be a triple celebration for football fans as the World Cup starts on the 14th of June, and 28 live matches will be aired for free on Radio Television Malaysia (RTM). there will be interesting family dynamics and interactions when the family gets together to watch the games, especially when the family members support different teams!"



  • In total, 19,766 interviews were conducted between 20 April and 4 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 and 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 the 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.