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World Cup Boycott Fails to Attract the Masses

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Martin Armstrong

Since the announcement in 2010, there has been widespread disbelief and outrage at the 2022 World Cup being awarded by FIFA to Qatar. The country's dire human rights record, coupled with reports of abhorrent treatment of migrant workers and thousands of deaths during the construction of new stadiums and infrastructure, have led to calls for a brand and fan boycott of the tournament.

However, despite this backdrop to the tournament, the idea appears to have largely fallen on deaf ears among the public. As a recent survey by Statista reveals, when it comes to football fans in England the love of the game seemingly outweighs any motivation for a boycott. Analyzing this more generously, fans may also think that a boycott at this stage will have little effect. After all, the games are all free to watch on TV, eliminating at least any direct financial support of the tournament.

Fans may also be justified in laying the bulk of any boycotting responsibility with the brands which have allowed large amounts of money to flow into the tournament. That being said, just 10 percent of respondents said they would boycott brands which sponsor the tournament. While one in five members of the public said they think fans and the national team should boycott the tournament, only four percent of football fans said they would not be watching the matches come kick-off on November 20.

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