MENA Euro 2012 Followers, Back Spain to Win
June 7th, 2012, Anthony Smith

MENA Euro 2012 Followers, Back Spain to Win

  • One third (33%) of those likely to watch UEFA Euro 2012 “want” Spain to win and 36% “expect” Spain to win.
  • 16% “want” Germany to win & 20% “expect” Germany to win.
  • 73% of tournament followers likely to watch all or most of the games

Spain are the clear favourites to retain their UEFA European Football Championship title amongst those likely to watch Euro 2012 within the MENA region. Responding to a recent YouGov football research study, 33% are willing the Spaniards onto victory. Germany poll second with 16% of the vote whilst the other traditional powerhouses of European football, Italy, England and France poll 11%, 10% and 9% respectively.

When asked whom they ‘expect to win’ the tournament, the answer is more definitive with Spain collecting 36% of the vote, Germany 20% and England, the best of the others on 10%. Surprisingly the Netherlands, beaten finalists in the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ only garner 6% of the ‘expect to win’ vote (and 4% of the ‘want to win’ vote). If Spain manage to retain the title they won in 2008, they will be the first team to achieve this feat.

This year’s edition of the 4 yearly tournament is hosted by Poland & Ukraine and kicks off on 8 June 2012. Within the MENA region, interest in the tournament is high with 72% of respondents expressing an interest in football likely to watch some of the games and 73% of those likely to watch Euro 2012 expecting to watch all or most of the games.

Only 46% of those likely to watch Euro 2012 have seen any promotional material connected to the tournament itself which suggests this competition is favoured less than other tournaments by broadcasters and marketers.

The FIFA World Cup™ is the most actively followed tournament amongst respondents expressing an interest in football, with three quarters (75%) indicating an interest in this competition. The UEFA European Championships is followed by 55% of respondents whilst the UEFA Champions League is followed by 53% of respondents. The contrast to the tournaments relevant to this region cannot be starker with the AFC Champions League and AFC Asian Championships only followed by 26% & 21% of respondents respectively.

The Spanish La Liga is the most popular foreign national league championship - 48% of respondents expressing an interest in football state they follow this tournament, compared to 34% that follow the English Premier League. The Italian, German and French leagues are each followed by 20% or less of respondents.

44% of respondents follow regional domestic leagues. The rates are higher in countries such as Egypt (65%) and Saudi Arabia (50%) where the standard of league football is generally considered to be better than in other countries in the region.

49% of respondents watch at least 1 game of football per week, and 69% of respondents watch at least 2 games per month. North Africans are the most avid viewers - 60% state they watch at least 1 game per week. This falls to 46% in the GCC and 43% in the Levant. The most popular location for watching football is one’s home (69% of respondents state it is their preferred venue) with shisha café’s a distant second on 10%.

This survey was conducted using YouGov’s online market research panel in the MENA region and results are based on 1508 respondents across the region (GCC 801, North Africa 387 & Levant 320) including 992 (66%) who expressed an interest to some degree in football (GCC 506, North Africa 289 & Levant 197), of whom 714 (72%) stated they would follow the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament (GCC 338, North Africa 218 & Levant 158). The research took place between 14 & 22 May 2012.