Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Little Going-In American Enthusiasm for the World Cup

While the United States may often be described as a sports-crazed nation, Americans were one of the least enthusiastic publics about the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Only 27% of Americans said they were excited (11% were very excited) about the soccer tournament in this year’s Pew Global Attitudes survey, which was completed well before the beginning of tournament play. Nearly seven-in-ten said they were not too or not at all excited aboutwhat is possibly the world’s largest sporting event. Among the 22 nations surveyed, the World Cup was overwhelmingly popular in South Korea (79% were excited about the competition), Nigeria (79%), Kenya (71%), Indonesia (71%) and Brazil (70%). Surprisingly, the tournament was not as highly anticipated in soccer-powerhouse nations in Europe such as Britain (43% excited), Spain (41%) and France (33%). Excitement had little to do with expectations about winning and losing. For starters, despite their anticipatory excitement, neither Kenya nor Indonesia was able to field a team in this year’s tournament, and only 11% of South Koreans believed their nation would win the World Cup (by comparison, 43% said Brazil would win). In contrast, a majority in Spain (58%) expected their country to triumph in the World Cup, but an equal 58% werenot excited by the prospect ofthe games. Brazil was the only country surveyed where both a large majority was excited about the World Cup and also expected a victory for the home country (75%). Read More