KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — A quarter of the Malaysian football fans surveyed believed Brazil will lift the World Cup for the sixth time in this year's championship starting tonight in Russia.
According to the study conducted by global market research agency, Ipsos on 1,000 Malaysians aged between 16 and 64, 19 per cent favoured defending champions, Germany to become the third team to win the World Cup back-to-back as Italy (1934 & 1938) and Brazil (1958 & 1962) had done while 11 per cent selected Spain, the 2010 champions to win the World Cup for the second time.
The world opinion (19,766 respondents from 27 countries) however saw 23 per cent going for Germany followed by 21 per cent for Brazil and 11 per cent for Spain.
The survey conducted from April 20 to May 4 2018, also revealed 24 per cent of staunch World Cup fans were willing to skip work or school merely to watch the matches which was one per cent higher than 23 per cent among Malaysians.
More than half of the people surveyed here claimed they are staunch World Cup fans while 24 per cent said they would watch matches involving their favourite teams.
The survey also showed watching the World Cup is a social experience among Malaysians when nine of 10 (88 per cent) people said they would be watching with family members or friends.
The development in digital technology is also seen as not threatening the interest of television broadcast when the tournament commences tonight when 64 per cent of Malaysians said they would be watching the World Cup through television compared to 24 per cent who planned to watch on mobile devices.
However the shocker of survey was that only nine per cent of World Cup hosts, Russia considered themselves as football fans while about one third (35 per cent) said they watch football occasionally.
More than a third (36 per cent) of the Russians surveyed said they were not interested in football at all.
“Most Malaysians probably choose Brazil rather than Germany for the flair and skills even though Brazil were crushed 1-7 by Germany in the last edition in their home ground,” said Ipsos associate operations director Michael Looi in a statement.
The study was conducted via Ipsos Online Panel in 27 countries including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Romania, Saudi Arabia , Serbia, South Africa, Turkey, England and United States.
Teams predicted to win World Cup
Global: Germany (23 per cent), Brazil (21 per cent), Spain (11 per cent)
Malaysia: Brazil (25 per cent), Germany (19 per cent), Spain (11 per cent)
Attitudes of Malaysians on 2018 World Cup
— 24 per cent will watch as many matches as possible
— 27 per cent will only watch matches involving their favourite teams
— 32 per cent will watch matches involving leading teams
— 16 per cent will not watch any matches.
— 88 per cent will watch with family and friends
— 70 per cent will to watch with office colleagues
— 61 per cent will watch on television
— 24 per cent will watch via mobile devices
Reactions of Malaysians during World Cup
— 64 per cent will buy World Cup themed products
— 49 per cent will watch matches in bars or restaurants
— 35 per cent will carry good luck charms during matches
— 23 per cent will skip work or school to watch matches. — Bernama