Over half (57 %) of young Arabs believe Qatar was the right choice to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup while two thirds (65%) think the tournament will encourage the development of football across the Arab world, according to the findings of the 6th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey.
Support for a Qatar World Cup is strongest in the GCC countries with 61% saying the Gulf state was the right choice to host the tournament compared to 54% in the non-GCC Arab countries. Over a quarter (26%) of youth in non-GCC countries and 25% in the Gulf states “don’t know” if Qatar was the right choice while 14% and 20% in GCC and non-GCC countries, respectively, believe it was the wrong choice.
Qatar beat off bids from Australia, Japan, the United States and South Korea for the right to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The Arab Youth Survey is an annual initiative of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, the leading public relations consultancy in Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller’s sister agency, international polling firm PSB, which officially established its Middle East offices in January of this year, conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with exclusively Arab national men and women aged 18-24 in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain), Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Yemen and, for the first time in 2014, Palestine.
The survey was developed to provide reliable data and insights into the attitudes and aspirations of the region’s 200 million-strong youth population – with 60% below the age of 25 – with the aim of informing policy and decision-making of both government and the private sector. Research was conducted between December 2013 and January 2014.
Optimism about the development of football in the Arab world on the back of the tournament win is broadly consistent between the GCC and non-GCC countries with just over two thirds (68%) in the six Gulf states agreeing that Qatar hosting the tournament will positively impact the game compared to 64% in non-GCC countries. Just 18% of young Arabs aged 18-24 do not think the tournament will have a positive impact on football in the region while 17% “don’t know”.
Sunil John, Chief Executive Officer of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, said: “Support for a Middle East FIFA World Cup remains high across the Arab world with two thirds of all youth agreeing that Qatar’s hosting right will encourage the development of football across the region. Despite the ongoing controversy surrounding the bid, there appears a great deal of optimism amongst youth that the Gulf state was the right choice to host the tournament.”
In-depth results from the 6th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, including survey highlights and a white paper in both Arabic and English, as well as findings from all previous five editions of the survey are freely available on www.arabyouthsurvey.com.