June 12, 2010 06:01 ET

The 2010 FIFA World Cup

Only 4 In 10 (37%) Avid Soccer Fans Think The Way In Which Qualification Structure Formatted is Fair To All Potential Participating Countries, and 2/3rds (65%) Say World Cup Event So Expensive Ordinar

Attention: Lifestyle Editor, News Editor, Sports Editor JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - June 12, 2010) - Johannesburg, South Africa- With the 2010 FIFA World Cup just underway, a new Reuters news poll conducted by Ipsos indicates that only 4 in 10 (37%) avid soccer* fans think the way in which the qualification structure is formatted is fair to all potential participating countries, and 2/3rds (65%) of fans say world cup event so expensive the ordinary soccer supporter can no longer participate.

Regardless, six in 10 (59%) fans say South Africa will host a successful FIFA 2010 world cup event with host country fans most optimistic (91%) that it will be the case.

These are just some of the findings released today from a survey of soccer* fans in 24 countries-23 countries worldwide conducted May 12-21, 2010 along with a separate, companion survey, of the host Country, South Africa. The results show that two thirds (66%) of the 23 global citizens interviewed consider themselves fans to a varying degree**. For the results of the surveys, only those respondents who follow the sport -66% (12,059 of the original 18,624 interviewed) and in South Africa 73% (2,593 of the original 3,553 interviewed face to face)-were questioned about the 2010 World Cup, leaving the other 34% of non-fans out (27% in South Africa).

Only 4 In 10 (37%) Fans Think The Way In Which The Qualification Structure Is Formatted Is Fair To All Potential Participating Countries…

Commentators have noted that certain countries had to fight to qualify for the World Cup event and in some instance some of the top soccer playing countries did not qualify in their region, while other much lower ranked countries qualified because their region is not as competitive.

Soccer fans were asked to weigh in on how qualification structure is formatted-is it fair or not to all soccer/football* countries? It appears that no overall consensus exists on this point:

Yes No Don't Know

Total ` 37% 37% 26%

India 60% 30% 10%
Italy 52% 22% 26%
Indonesia 51% 35% 14%
China 47% 38% 15%
Saudi Arabia 46% 25% 29%
Brazil 46% 38% 16%
Germany 44% 25% 31%
Hungary 41% 31% 28%
South Korea 37% 46% 17%
Poland 35% 32% 33%
Great Britain 35% 38% 27%
Argentina 33% 36% 31%
Mexico 33% 46% 21%
Turkey 32% 50% 18%
Russia 31% 29% 60%
United States 31% 47% 22%
Spain 27% 37% 36%
Canada 26% 37% 37%
Belgium 24% 40% 36%
Australia 24% 40% 36%
Sweden 24% 49% 27%
Japan 21% 44% 35%
France 21% 47% 32%

Two thirds (63%) of South African fans think the qualification structure is fair for all countries.

2/3rds of Fans Say World Cup Event So Expensive Ordinary Soccer Supporter Can No Longer Participate…

But while there may not be any consensus on the qualification structure, there certainly is on the expense for the ordinary soccer supporter: a majority (65%) believes the 2010 FIFA World Cup Event is so expensive they can no longer participate by attending actual matches at stadiums-78% of South African fans feel likewise.

Yes No

Total 65% 19%

Brazil 83% 13%
Great Britain 77% 9%
France 72% 18%
Germany 72% 10%
Belgium 71% 13%
India 70% 21%
Poland 69% 13%
Mexico 69% 26%
Turkey 69% 18%
Spain 69% 17%
Indonesia 68% 22%
China 67% 17%
Russia 65% 14%
South Korea 64% 28%
Argentina 62% 26%
Italy 60% 30%
Sweden 59% 14%
Saudi Arabia 59% 20%
United States 52% 19%
Hungary 51% 32%
Australia 50% 11%
Canada 48% 16%
Japan 43% 33%

2/3rds (66%) of Soccer Fans Know South Africa is Hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup…

Total 66%
Argentina 96%
South Korea 91%
Brazil 91%
Mexico 89%
Indonesia 87%
Germany 85%
Italy 75%
Great Britain 73%
France 73%
Spain 67%
Japan 66%
Saudi Arabia 66%
Turkey 65%
Belgium 63%
Poland 59%
India 58%
China 55%
Sweden 51%
Australia 45%
Hungary 44%
Canada 43%
Russia 41%
United States 31%

Most (46%) Believe Players and Spectators Will Be Safe In South Africa during the Event…Majority (86%) of South African Fans Agree…

A full majority of South African fans believe players and spectators will be safe while attending the World Cup event (86%) compared to only 46% of the fans in 23 other countries+:

Yes No

Total 46% 23%

India 86% 5%
Indonesia 60% 12%
Mexico 57% 17%
Brazil 57% 19%
United States 55% 17%
Argentina 54% 10%
China 54% 15%
Canada 54% 17%
Italy 51% 17%
Turkey 46% 27%
Sweden 45% 24%
Hungary 45% 25%
Russia 44% 12%
Saudi Arabia 43% 25%
Spain 42% 28%
Poland 42% 22%
Australia 38% 23%
France 36% 27%
Belgium 35% 26%
Great Britain 34% 32%
Germany 32% 34%
South Korea 26% 51%
Japan 13% 47%
+ 31% don't know

And Six In 10 (59%) Fans Say South Africa Will Host A Successful FIFA 2010 World Cup Event…Host Country Fans Are Most Optimistic (91%)…

South African fans believe their country will host a successful FIFA 2010 World Cup Event (91%) compared with an average of 6 in 10 (59%) in the other 23 countries surveyed:

Total 59%

India ` 86%
Italy 78%
Indonesia 73%
China 73%
Mexico 72%
Argentina 69%
United States 68%
Brazil 68%
France 68%
Saudi Arabia 62%
Canada 62%
Russia 55%
Belgium 55%
Sweden 50%
Turkey 50%
Hungary 49%
South Africa 48%
South Korea 48%
Great Britain 47%
Australia 45%
Spain 43%
Poland 43%
Germany 43%
Japan 38%

Where the Fans Come from Around the World…Two Thirds (66%) Follow the Sport…

* One in 10 (11%) of global citizens are self described passionate followers and will watch as many games as possible at any given time (29% South Africa)

* One quarter (24%) follow soccer/football* but will only watch games played by their favorite leagues/club and national team (21% South Africa)

* 31% will very occasionally watch soccer/football* games played by a leading league/club and national team (23% South Africa)

* One third (34%) don't follow soccer/football* and do not watch the games at all (27% South Africa)

By adding the first three categories, two thirds (66%) of citizens can be considered a fan to a varying degree (73% in South Africa):

Total 66%

South Korea 88%
Turkey 83%
India 81%
China 80%
Brazil 78%
Mexico 78%
Argentina 72%
Saudi Arabia 72%
Indonesia 72%
Spain 70%
Italy 68%
Australia 67%
Germany 66%
Poland 63%
Sweden 61%
Great Britain 59%
Hungary 55%
France 54%
Belgium 52%
Japan 49%
Canada 48%
Russia 42%
United States 35%

The Most Passionate Followers of the Sport…

But clearly the passionate fan is a special group unto themselves. This undiluted extreme soccer fan can best be described as male (16% versus females at 5%), under the age 35 (13% versus those aged 35 to 49 at 9% and those aged 50 to 64 at 9%). There are no other distinguishing characteristics when it comes to household income, education or marital status. But there is when it comes to geography:

Total 11%

Turkey 22%
India 21%
Brazil 19%
Argentina 17%
Saudi Arabia 16%
Italy 14%
Great Britain 14%
Spain 13%
Australia 12%
Germany 10%
France 9%
Mexico 8%
Sweden 8%
Indonesia 8%
Poland 8%
South Korea 7%
China 7%
United States 6%
Belgium 6%
Canada 6%
Hungary 5%
Japan 4%
Russia 4%

With World Cup fever at a pitch it's no surprise that passionate South African fans self identify at 29%.
These are the findings of the Global @dvisor Wave 9 (G@9), an Ipsos survey conducted between May 12, 2010 and May 21, 2010. The survey instrument is conducted monthly in 24 countries around the world via the Ipsos Online Panel system. The countries reporting herein are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America. For the results of the survey presented herein, an international sample of 18,624 adults age 18-64 in the US and Canada, and age 16-64 in all other countries, were interviewed. Approximately 1000+ individuals participated on a country by country basis via the Ipsos Online Panel with the exception of Argentina, Belgium, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey, where each have a sample approximately 500+.Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to the most recent country Census data, and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points for a sample of 1,000 and an estimated margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20 per country of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in that country had been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. In South Africa the survey was conducted face to face with a sample of 3,553 South African citizens aged 16+ and then weighted to be representative of the population.

Notes:* When asking the questions in the survey the terms "soccer" and "football" were presented according to terms used "in country". For example the term "football" was not used in the United States where it can be confused with the NFL (National Football League) type of game.** One in 10 (11%) are passionate followers of the sport and will watch as many games as possible at any given time. Another one quarter (24%) follow the sport but will only watch games played by their favorite leagues/club and national team, while another 31% will only very occasionally watch games played by a leading league/club and national team. One third (34%) don't follow the sport and don't watch the games at all. In South Africa the fan base is 73% with corresponding figures: 29%, 21%, 23% and non-fans at 27%.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Anneke Greyling
Client Service Director
Ipsos Markinor
South Africa
011 686 8400
Clifford Young
SVP & Managing Director
Ipsos USA

For all Reuters/Ipsos Polls go to:

For information about Ipsos and access to all Media and Polling Releases go to:

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Contact Information

  • Clifford Young, Senior Vice President, Ipsos Public Affairs
    Primary Phone: 202-420-2016
    E-mail: clifford.young@ipsos.com