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Football Vs Cricket World Cup: 9-0

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India’s football team captain Sunil Chhetri recently took to Twitter pleading fans to support his team in a four-nation tournament held in Mumbai. Virat Kohli, the captain of national cricket team, doesn’t have to issue such appeals as he mostly plays in front of a full house.

But football is gaining a following in India, more so after the launch of the professional Indian Super League. Over the next month, cricket will take a backseat as India joins the world in watching the FIFA World Cup.

The gentleman's game – as cricket is often called – has barely made a mark outside the Commonwealth nations. Football, on the other hand, is popular across continents. Not only does football have a much larger global following, more money is at stake as well.

BloombergQuint looks at viewership, participation and more in football and cricket world cups.


The number of nations that participate in the football world cup are three times those that are part of the cricket world cup.

The gap becomes even more stark when it comes to the qualifying rounds. In the latest qualification round for the upcoming FIFA World Cup, a record 211 countries participated. While the cricket world cup's qualification tournament had 10 associate teams, something that the International Cricket Council has been criticised for in the past.

Also Read: World Cup 2018: Hosting Football World Cup Boosts Pride, Not Economy

Television Audiences

The last FIFA World Cup’s viewership was twice that of the previous edition of the cricket World Cup. The football World Cup is televised across the world with nearly 200 broadcasters in almost every country that participated in the qualifying round. In contrast, the ICC Cricket World Cup has 44 licensed broadcasters.

Geographical Spread

The football world cup's existence dates back to 1930, over 40 years before the first cricket world cup was played. The 20 editions of the FIFA World Cup since then have been played in 17 nations, with a host being repeated only three times. The 11 cricket world cups since 1975 have been played across 10 nations.

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Event-based revenue accounts for a huge chunk of ICC and FIFA earnings.

But what FIFA makes from the football world cup is more than 100 times of what ICC makes from the cricket world cup, according to their financial statements. This revenue includes marketing, broadcasting, ticketing, hospitality and licensing rights.


FIFA also spends more towards organising the world cup.

Also Read: Goldman Tips Brazil for World Cup After 1 Million Simulations


FIFA World Cup winners, losers and even participants earn significantly more than nations in the ICC Cricket World Cup.

When Germany won the football world cup in 2014, their prize money was more than the three times the prize money offered by the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, financial statements show. Australia, which won the cricket world cup in 2015, earned half of what Cameroon got after getting knocked out in the football world cup group stages without winning a match.

Ticket Prices

If you're going to watch a football world cup match, be prepared to dig deep into your pockets.

For the upcoming FIFA World Cup, the cheapest ticket for a standard group match is nearly five times costlier than the cheapest ticket at the cricket world cup.

Stadium Turnout

Despite costlier tickets the FIFA World Cup commands a higher average stadium turnout than the ICC Cricket World Cup. In the most recent editions, the average attendance at the stadium in the football world cup was over twice of that in the cricket world cup.

Tourism Boost

Events like world cups are a boon for the host country’s tourism industry.

Brazil received the highest number of tourists in a year in 2014, when it hosted the FIFA World Cup, according to its tourism ministry. This was mainly due to more than 600,000 foreign visitors coming to the land of Samba to cheer their nations. That was beaten when the country hosted Olympics two years later.

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