World Cup survey of fans gets low marks

I’ve just spotted the results of a survey conducted by a company described as “the exclusive Financial Services partner for all FIFA events”. Apparently this global brand thought talking to fans in the United Arab Emirates about the World Cup would be a convincing marketing ploy. Here are some of their findings.

More than one third of UAE football fans polled predict Brazil will be victorious this year. 16% tipped Argentina to take the top spot, with 11% favouring Spain.

A third of UAE football fans believe a Middle East team will win the World Cup in their lifetime.

UAE football fans are also confident that the FIFA World Cup will be hosted by a Middle Eastern country in the next twenty years with 40% believing that this is definitely likely, and 50% viewing it as probable.

The UAE was also tipped to be the most likely Middle Eastern country to host the World Cup according to 74% of respondents.

15% thought that Qatar would play host in the future followed by 7% who predicted that Saudi Arabia would be the first Middle Eastern country to become a host nation.

Finally, “the most memorable moment in FIFA World Cup history”, as voted for by UAE football fans, “was Maradonas (sic) famous game, as voted by 17% of respondents. This was closely followed by the infamous head-butt by Zinedine Zidane (15%) and the 2006 win by Brazil (11%).”

I really don’t know where to start here.

Maradona’s famous game: I presume this is a reference to the 2 – 1 quarter final victory over England. Let’s forget his other performances and concentrate on the infamous stuff, eh? Speaking as a football fan Maradona’s second goal against England was more than “memorable”; it was breathtaking. He went on to set up the decisive goal in the final with an inch-perfect pass. That was memorable. Besides, a “game” isn’t a “moment”.

Zidane’s head-butt: I’m starting to see a pattern here.

The 2006 win by Brazil: I’m lost for words.

So here’s the state of play – if the UAE ever hosts a World Cup, the locals will want it to be packed full of dodgy handballs and physical violence, because that’s all they can remember. The name of the winning team will also need to be written in prominent places so every UAE resident can see it four years later.

“The exclusive Financial Services partner for all FIFA events” will “continue to hold these global rights to all FIFA World Cup events up until 2014”. Let’s hope this gives them enough time to revamp their research department and avoid this kind of schoolboy nonsense.

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