70% believe their country should boycott Qatar World Cup (4,201 people surveyed)

Posted on 02 November, 2023 by Danny McLoughlin

Amid growing calls to boycott the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, we surveyed 4,201 people from 120 countries to understand the feelings of the public towards the World Cup next year.

You can find the full methodology for this survey at the bottom of the page.

Key findings:

  • 70.10% of respondents believe the home nations should boycott Qatar ‘22
  • 69.10% agree the world cup should be removed from Qatar and held elsewhere

70% agree their country should boycott Qatar ‘22

When surveyed, 2,945 out of 4,201 (70.10%) stated they agree their country should boycott the FIFA World Cup next year in Qatar due to human rights issues.

17.54% of respondents still did not know. As with all complex issues, a large proportion responded that they did not know. This could either be because they have yet to make up their mind on such a difficult topic or that they are completely unaware of the issues around Qatar.

Why do fans want a boycott?

There are potentially a number of issues that would lead to fans wanting to boycott the World Cup in Qatar next year.

We specifically asked about two sets of human rights issues: the treatment of migrant workers and the treatment of women and the LGBT+ community in Qatar.

66.70% of respondents stated they agree that their country should boycott due to the treatment of migrant workers.

The Guardian recently stated 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since the World Cup was awarded.

This was slightly lower (62.56%) when respondents were asked about Women’s rights and the rights of the LGBT+ community.

69.10% believe World Cup ‘22 should be removed from Qatar

When asked whether the tournament should be taken away from Qatar and held in a different country, 69.10% of respondents stated they agree that it should be.

This could prove to be a huge problem for FIFA and football associations throughout the world if pressure grows from fans and the general public to boycott Qatar ‘22 or host the tournament elsewhere.

As momentum builds with just over 18 months to go, there are still plenty of doubts who will be at the World Cup ‘22 and if it will be in Qatar at all.


The survey was an online survey run on RunRepeat.com across all pages between April 7th and April 12th 2021 with the intention of understanding whether or not the general population support a boycott of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

It received 4,201 complete responses from 120 countries. More than 75% of responses came from 19 countries: USA, UK, Canada, India, Australia, Netherlands, Malaysia, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Greece, Portugal, Romania, Indonesia, France, Finland, Philippines.

48.13% of respondents came from the USA and the UK (24.26% and 23.88% respectively.)

The survey consisted of 3 statements, to which the respondents can agree or disagree with on a likert scale style response.

The country in the statements was inserted dynamically into the question based on location data. For example, a person in Spain would receive the statement “Spain should boycott.” The exception was the United Kingdom where respondents received the statement “The home nations should…” due to location information being based on a country level.

The statements were:

  1. {{COUNTRY}} should boycott Qatar ‘22 due to treatment of migrant workers.
  2. {{COUNTRY}} should boycott Qatar ‘22 due to treatment of women and LGBT+ community.
  3. World Cup 2022 should be removed from Qatar and held in a different country.

The available responses were:

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • I don’t know

If a respondent agreed or strongly agreed with either statement 1 or 2 they were recorded as being in favour of a boycott as they agreed with a boycott for the stated reason.

About RunRepeat

RunRepeat is the world’s largest online athletic shoe review company. We test shoes outside and inside, in our lab. There, we cut the shoes in half to make sure we understand every little thing when it comes to the shoe's features and technologies used. Thanks to this approach, we can present objective findings on shoe's width, stack height, durability, flexibility, softness, breathability. In our Methodology, you can find all the lab tests that we do, how we do them and which instruments we use.

Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin
Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.