FIFA World Cup: A demographic shift in Indian football fan base!

FIFA World Cup 2018 - InsideSport

The FIFA World Cup fan following in India is indicating a demographic shift in the football fan base in the country. It no more Kolkata for Brazil or Kerala for Argentina. Maharashtra instead has established a lead in fan base for Argentina, while Brazil fans in Tamil Nadu has outnumbered any other Indian State.

The most celebrated festival on the earth FIFA World Cup is almost nearing to its end but the energy and enthusiasm in its followers haven’t gone down a bit. While the next two games of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia will decide the order of world’s top four national football teams for the next four years, live social sports engagement platform Rooter surveyed the behaviour of more than 2 lakh football fans across India aging from 18 to 30 years. The gathered information revealed some exciting stories on the country’s inclination towards the game. Over the last 25 days, Rooter has been able to capture and analyze the data of ongoing Football World Cup through their live sports fantasy gaming and other features on the basis of user engagement.

The behavioural data analysis on football has revealed that among the most following football States in India, West Bengal and Kerala are outnumbered in terms of support to the football giants like Argentina and Brazil. Their inclination towards other teams tells the different story. Rooter’s app launches registered 21% less traffic during Brazil’s matches and 33.3% less during Argentina’s compared to England’s matches in West Bengal. Moreover, Maharashtra found a significant growth in Argentina fans among the other States in India.

State Team Support (in %)
Maharashtra Argentina 7.65
Tamil Nadu Brazil 7.3
Karnataka Spain 7.1
Uttar Pradesh Portugal 6.8
Telangana England 6.5

The report further delves into the popularity of football stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in India, where former beats the later as the most favourite player of Indian football fans. During Rooter’s Live Fantasy game, Messi topped the chart with Neymar Jr. standing at 2nd position ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo. Brazilian attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho is at the 4th as English striker Harry Kane rounds off the top five list.

Player Country
Lionel Messi Argentina
Neymar Jr. Brazil
Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal
Philippe Coutinho Brazil
Harry Kane England

Commenting on the recent trends, Piyush, Founder & CEO, Rooter said, “For almost a month now, Indian football fans have followed their favourite players and teams most passionately. We have witnessed unparalleled growth in our engagement and app-interaction levels over the past few weeks. This puts us in a solid position to collate some of the trends noticed during this period, and it is extremely heartening to see football enthusiasts emerge from states such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana. The trends mapped, much like FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, have offered a few highly unpredictable results, which overall, make the growth of the beautiful game all the more exciting in India!”

Rooter live fantasy game has also given insight about the top 5 players for each position.

Position Player
Goal-Keeper Kasper, Danijel, Ochoa, David Ospina, Courtois
Striker Neymar, Harry Kane, Cristiano Ronaldo, Eden Hazard, Lionel Messi
Midfielder Isco, Philippe Coutinho, Toni Kroos, Granit Xhaka, Luka Modric
Defender Jordi Alba, Yuto Nagatomo, Marcus Rojo, Mario Figueira Fernandes, Kyle Walker

With some interesting revelation of the demographic shift in the preference, Indian football fans are no longer restricted to a bunch of States. With the inception of the India Super League, the fan base for the sport has grown up leaps and bounds. Uttar Pradesh was definitely an odd man out but still, no one can underestimate the growth of sport across various corners of India. A huge positive for the nation and sports.