NAIROBI, Kenya, May 24 – Africans are most expecting Brazil or Germany to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with very few Africans outside of the qualifying nations expecting an African team to win, according to a poll across six African nations released by GeoPoll.
However, 43 percent of Nigerian are backing their own national team the Super Eagles to win and 49 percent of Senegalese think their Teranga Lions team will be the first African side to win the prestigious title.
“Across Africa, World Cup fever is running high, with the majority of Africans planning to watch the contest. However, GeoPoll data highlights the interesting facts that very few are aware of which African nations have qualified, and even fewer are predicting an African win,” said Nick Becker, CEO of GeoPoll.
In a survey of 2,400 respondents across Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania, GeoPoll found that respondents were fairly evenly split in believing that either Brazil or Germany was most likely to win the 2018 World Cup, with 22 percent predicting a win by Brazil and 20 percent forecasting a German win.
However, in South Africa, 26 percent of men believe Brazil will come out glorious, and 26 percent believe Germany will, but South African women lean more towards Brazil, with 20 per cent predicting a win for the South American nation, while just 13 per cent think Germany will win.
From Africa’s five qualifying teams of Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia, the South African public is expecting little, with the greatest hopes being the 1 per cent of men and 3 percent of women predicting a Nigerian win.
Other African teams get a smattering of win predictions, with 1 percent of South African women believing Senegal will win, but another 1 percent also predicting that each of Angola, Namibia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Zambia and Zimbabwe will win, none of whom are participating, and 19 percent forecasting a South African win, with South Africa also having failed to qualify.
Across South African men, 6 percent are expecting a win from non-qualifiers – 4 percent for South Africa, and 2 percent for Ghana – but, apart from the small hopes for Nigeria, none are predicting a win from Egypt, Morocco, Senegal or Tunisia.
The same assessments are fairly similarly reflected in each of Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania.
But in Nigeria and Senegal, football followers see it differently. According to 43 percent of the men of both nations, their own teams are set to win. In Nigeria, 44 percent of the women are of the same view in predicting a Nigerian win.
However, the greatest patriotism and optimism vote goes to Senegalese women, 66 percent of whom are expecting Senegal to win the World Cup.
“Clearly, for nations that have seen their own teams through both of the qualifying rounds, national confidence is high. But for the rest of Africa, not tied by national patriotism or influenced by the celebrations in qualifying thus far, the perspective is more global – and fans are not rating Africa’s chances too highly,” said Nick.
Yet, despite the division between the ‘ins’ and the ‘outs’ on the chances of an African win, passion is running high for the event continent-wide, with more than 70 per cent of Africans planning to watch the contest, and the majority of them from home.
Set to be watched by a home audience of more than 600m in Africa, and, overall, by more than 850m African viewers, the World Cup remains the continent’s largest single entertainment, drawing on football passion continent-wide, even as Africans watch with Brazil, Germany, and to a lesser extent Spain, in their sights as the likely winners.