Qatar 2022

FIFA World Cup 2022: Fewer UK Football Fans Plan to Watch Compared to Previous Competitions Due to Issues Surrounding Workers’, LGBTQ+ Rights

Four in 10 football fans in the UK believe the upcoming World Cup will be the “worst ever”, according to the results of a new piece of market research. The study from Opinium Research has shown that two in five (41%) football fans are less excited about the 2022 World Cup in comparison to previous World Cups, with around the same number (40%) believing the 2022 World Cup will be the worst World Cup ever.

The Khalifa International Stadium in Aspire Zone will be one of the venues for the FIFA World Cup 2022

Similarly, three in four (74%) agree that Qatar should not have never been awarded the competition.

For some, these attitudes spill over into viewing behavior, as a third (34%) of fans are planning to watch less of the 2022 World Cup, given the issues raised.

Of those planning to watch at least some of the World Cup, the majority (71%) plan to watch from home, though this drops to 50% among those aged 18 to 34, which are the age group most likely (12%) to watch at the pub.

Altogether, six in 10 (60%) of football fans say they would normally go to the pub to view a match at least once during the World Cup, but this number drops to 44% for fans planning to visit the pub this year.

Overall, of those planning to watch the World cup this year, three in ten (29%) will spend less time at the pub watching this World Cup compared to in 2018, with two in five (46%) of those watching less from the pub saying this is due to the rise in living costs.

Meanwhile, more than a third (37%) will be watching less at the pub as they do not agree with the tournament being held in Qatar, while a similar number (34%) put it down to worse weather. Also, one in twelve (8%) England supporters do not believe in the team’s ability to win, making them less likely to visit the pub.

Less than half (47%) of working fans will be allowed to watch the World Cup during working hours, while one in five (20%) will be able to leave their home office or workplace to watch the football and more than a quarter (27%) saying their workplace will show the matches.

Although 47% say they will not be able to watch the games during work, a fifth (19%) say they will find a way to watch anyway. For example, a third (32%) of working football fans would pretend to be ill to get a day off work to watch their nation’s match at the World Cup, with a fifth (21%) admitting having done so previously.

The majority of football fans – nine out of every 10 – are aware of various concerns surrounding the World Cup, including Qatar’s attitude towards LGBTQ+ rights (94%), women’s rights (93%) and worker’s rights (90%). This equates to four in 10 (40%) football fans saying they know a lot about Qatar’s attitude towards LGBTQ+ rights and a third knowing a lot about attitudes to women’s and workers’ rights in Qatar (both 34%).

However, Brits who do not count themselves football fans are less aware, with a third (33%) unaware of concerns surrounding Qatar’s workers’ rights record and more than a fifth (22%) unaware of concerns surrounding Qatar’s attitude towards LGBTQ+ rights.

Aside from the humanitarian issues, fans are also concerned about the actual tournament, with two thirds (65%) believing the atmosphere at the World Cup will suffer due to lack of travelling fans and half (50%) believing the quality of football at World Cup will suffer due to player fatigue.

To read the full report go to:

Subscribe and Get SVG Newsletters

  • SVG Insider (Tuesday - Friday)
  • SVG Digital Now (Monday)
  • SportSound (Monthly)
  • College (Monthly)
  • Venue Production (Monthly)

Password must contain the following:

A lowercase letter

A capital (uppercase) letter

A number

Minimum 8 characters