|‘Football Fever Quite High In Cricket Crazy India’|
|News - Sports|
|Written by Mediabharti Syndication Service|
|Sunday, 06 June 2010|
Mumbai (India): Unlike popular belief, cricket is not the only sport that interests Indians. Nearly half the country (47%) claims to be a football fan according to the latest Nielsen Global Online Survey. Globally, the game is most popular in Brazil, where 69 percent say they are a fan. India ranks tenth in its love for football globally.
Indians are also very excited about the upcoming FIFA World Cup. 56 percent Indians plan to follow the game this season. Over 700m people around the world watched the final match of the last 2006 World Cup in Germany.
"Football is considered more edgy and more unpredictable, especially in comparison to cricket. The rough and tough image of football is quite endearing to the fans. The ninety minute game never sees a dull moment, it's quick and much to the liking of consumers who are hard pressed for time today," said Piyush Mathur, President, India, The Nielsen Company.
The World Cup's most successful team of all times, the five-time winners- Brazil, are overwhelmingly backed to triumph once again and win the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Globally 34 percent think so. Indians' sentiments resonates global feelings, nearly four in ten Indians (39%) believe that Brazil will win the World Cup, followed by Germany at a distant second with thirteen percent votes and Argentina (11%) is the third candidate for Indians for a possible World Cup win. In Latin America, that figure rises to a super-confident 57 percent.
Soccer pundits may be surprised that Euro 2008 champions Spain are only fancied to win by eight percent of people globally. Nine percent of people globally think three-times world champs Germany will win again, a further nine percent back Argentina and the same percentage think England will triumph.
While the USA also appear to be in with a strong chance- with nine percent of people globally tipping them to win- this is fuelled largely by a patriotic 46 percent of people in North America who say they will win. Just four percent of people elsewhere rate their chances as strongly.
The current World Champions, Italy, are backed by just six percent people globally to repeat their nail-biting win on penalties against France in 2006. France, winners in 1998, are backed by just five percent of people.
With the FIFA World Cup due to kick off in Johannesburg on 11 June, the survey of 56 markets shows that, while just 34 percent of people around the world describe themselves as soccer fans, such is the excitement surrounding the World Cup spectacle that 51 percent will be focusing on South Africa as the final 32 national teams battle it out to become the World Champion.
FIFA World Cup finals clearly have massive global appeal, in Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, an extraordinary 60 percent of people say they will follow the finals of the beautiful game's greatest prize.
The survey also reveals which countries are most passionate about the game. The highest percentages of people who describe themselves as soccer fans are found in Brazil (69%), Portugal (60%), Egypt (56%), Indonesia (54%), Saudi Arabia (54%), Spain (53%), Venezuela (53%), Vietnam (52%), Italy (48%) and India (47%).
Clearly though, the huge appeal of the FIFA World Cup reaches far beyond only soccer fans. The Nielsen survey figures reveal those countries with the highest percentages of fans are not always those where most people say they will be following the matches. The country with the highest percentage of people who will follow the match is Brazil (84%), followed by Argentina (83%), Korea (76%), Portugal (75%), Italy (75%) and Mexico (74%).
"Appeal of FIFA World Cup in India has extended beyond football fans and it has become a social event that draws non-sports fans together to bond and have a good time," added Mathur.
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