The 2018 FIFA World Cup will officially kick off in Russia next week, with more than three billion people around the world expected to watch the event.
This includes a large number of South Africans, according to a new Ipsos study which surveyed nearly 20,000 people around the world from 20 April to 4 May.
The data was weighted to match the profile of the population, however Ipsos noted that in the case of South Africa, Russia, China and a number of other countries, the data was slightly skewed to represent a more affluent, connected population.
The study found that local soccer fans are some of the most passionate in the world, with 23% saying that they were ‘extremely passionate’ and watched as much of the sport as they can, while 27% said that they follow soccer but will only watch games played ‘by my favourite league/club and national team’.
Of those South Africans surveyed, 86% said that they planned to watch the World Cup with friends and family, while a large portion (46%) said that they planned to watch the game with work colleagues and at a bar/restaurant (56%).
A surprising amount said that they planned to stream the tournament, with 65% stating that they planned to watch the games on a television set – while 25% sent said that they planned to watch matches via the internet.
A fair amount also said that they plan to watch the tournament on a mobile device (11%), and a tablet device such as an iPad (10%).