Often referred to as the global game, football (i.e. soccer) is played, followed and talked about in almost every corner of planet earth. The sport’s biggest event, the quadrennial FIFA World Cup, is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, only matched by the Olympics
in terms of its near universal reach. According to FIFA, 3.2 billion people watch at least one minute of World Cup coverage on TV in 2014, a number that will likely be matched by this year’s tournament in Russia.
The following chart, based on a Nielsen
survey conducted in more than 20 international markets, shows where people are particularly fond of the global game and where interest in football is limited at best.