Two thirds of World Cup followers say the Fifa tournament being played out in Russia is just not the same without Ireland playing. One in four fans want England to win the tournament, while one in three place a bet at some stage during the tournament, a survey of 1,000 Irish adults conducted by Core’s research and sponsorship divisions indicate.
After England on 17 per cent, 16 per cent of the sample support Brazil. When it comes to the Lionel Messi versus Cristiano Ronaldo battle, Irish people prefer the little maestro from Argentina over his Portuguese nemesis. One in three Irish people support teams with Premier League players. One in four Irish adults will try and watch all the games.
As regards getting into the party spirit, 75 per cent of fans say they will buy food and drink during the tournament, while 60 per cent are buying alcohol. One in five fans say they purchase TV or audio equipment at some point to watch the games. Some 44 per cent of Irish supporters said they disliked the World Cup being hosted by Russia.
The survey reported that 42 per cent are not supporting Russia because of negative news stories. A separate study, the Core Research Cultural Index, showed that 82 per cent were aware of Russian players allowed to take part in the 2016 Olympics, while 79 per cent were aware that a Russian opposition leader was shot dead in 2015.
Irish people also believe it was significant that Russian diplomats were expelled from Ireland following a nerve agent attack in England. Coca-Cola comes out as the top brand that followers were able to correctly identify as a sponsor of the tournament, with an 82 per cent recall. It was followed by Visa on 73 per cent and Adidas on 70 per cent.
Three in five falsely identified Mastercard, Nike and Heineken as official World Cup sponsors.
To view the full findings of the Core Research World Cup 2018 report, click here:
Pictured is England striker Harry Kane, a contender for the World Cup Golden Boot award