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The South Africa World Cup in numbers

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 11 June 2010

70 per cent of UK adults are likely to watch a game during the South African World Cup, drinking an extra 21 million pints - and six out of ten think England can win. A look at the World Cup in numbers.

World Cup House (credit - Reuters)

Ah, that time again, when cheering crowds fill the pubs as the nation drinks itself into oblivion, grown men cry over the fortunes of a bunch of chaps they have never, and are unlikely ever, to meet and women up and down the country are forced to endure, as their menfolk patronise them with endless explanations of the off side rule.

The World Cup 2010 has arrived!

We'll be watching
More than 70 per cent of UK adults will be tuning in to the tournament with 60 per cent of the nation's women say they will be watching. And it is not all dependent on England's Fortunes - according to the Mintel study only one in eight people will stop watching if England are knocked out.

However according to the National Grid, while 86 per cent of Scots plan on watching England games, only seven per cent will actually be supporting England!

There is a bit more love in Wales where 85 per cent of people intend to watch the games with 36 per cent supporting their neighbours

British Troops in Afghanistan show their support for the England team
- Watch the video from the troops at Camp Bastion here

A nation of skivers
Researchers say one in four of us will pull a sickie during the tournament, that means an extra 31,850,000 excuses will be made in just four weeks as fans phone or text their boss and miss off work.

And it is not just the boys to watch out for, seemingly one in six women will be pulling the same stunt!

Top 10 World cup sickie excuses 
1. Tummy ache or dodgy stomach
2. Vomiting
3. Headache/migraine
4. High temperature and dizziness
5. Food poisoning
6. Car wouldn't start
7. Boiler broke
8. Child is unwell
9. Ear ache or infection
10. Husband or wife is ill so have to look after them/the kids
Survey conducted by Continental tyres

Four in ten supporters plan on checking scores, gossip and team line ups from their desk at work for at least 22 minutes a day - totalling five and a half hours apiece over the course of the tournament.

And the economic crisis seems a minor concern as one in ten die-hard fans say they would quit their job if they had a ticket for the World Cup final but were refused time off by their boss.

What lengths would you go to?
1 in 5 Footie fans would miss the birth of their first child to cheer England to World Cup glory
25.3 per cent would miss the funeral of a friend
29.3 per cent would miss or cancel their own wedding
54.5 per cent would miss the England World Cup Final match to go on a date with Cheryl Cole
34.3 per cent of fans would cancel a luxury holiday if it clashed with the England World Cup Final match
73.7 per cent would be prepared to throw a sickie if asked to work when England were playing
82.2 per cent admitted that they would try to book the day off
Survey conducted by

It all adds up
And England fans are prepared to commit a lot of time to the cause. Up to ten hours will be spent day preparing, watching and analysing each game, according to Halfords -  that is more than a full working day!

The National Grid is bracing itself for a record breaking power surge if the competition ends in another England penalty shoot out - the equivalent of 1.2 million kettles being switched on.

The company found that despite a record number of big screen TVs in pubs, up to 71 per cent of fans would watch a final involving England at home.

And what of the hardliners? The Oxford Research Agency has found that 65 per cent of fans believe a national victory for England is more important than their club doing well.

What are the chances?
Showing their optimistic side - six out of ten England fans believe Steven Gerrard's team can win the World Cup.

Boost the economy:
Footie fans will fork out £365 in World Cup mania
£29 will be shelled out on food and drink by those watching each game on TV or in a bar
£37 will be spent on takeaways by fans heading back from the pub
£67 will be splurged on alcohol, food and snacks supporters enjoying the games at home.
Survey conducted by Continental tyres

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