81% believe home nations should boycott World Cup (4,201 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 (including 1,002 Brits) 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:

  • 81.04% of respondents believe the home nations should boycott Qatar ‘22
  • 81.34% agree the world cup should be removed from Qatar and held elsewhere
  • English public more in favour of boycott than the Scottish public

81.04% agree the home nations should boycott Qatar ‘22

When surveyed, 812 out of 1,002 Brits (81.04%) stated that they agree the home nations should boycott the FIFA World Cup next year in Qatar due to human rights issues.

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.

78.14% of UK respondents stated they strongly agree that the FA’s of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland 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 (75.95%) when respondents were asked about Women’s rights and the rights of the LGBT+ community.

81.34% 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, 81.34% of respondents stated they agree that it should be.

How does this compare to the rest of the world?

When comparing the UK data to the results of all 4,201 respondents worldwide, we can see that the UK is more inclined to be in favour of a boycott.

England comes out stronger against Qatar World Cup

When looking at the breakdown of respondents from England and Scotland, it seems that the English are slightly more likely to favour a boycott and the Scots are slightly more likely to be against one.

Similarly, we can see Scottish people are more likely to disagree with the tournament being removed from Qatar and held elsewhere, with the English slightly more likely to be in favour.

Regardless of slight differences, the answers are unequivocal.

British people believe that FIFA should remove the tournament from Qatar. However, if it does go ahead as planned, they believe their own Football Associations should boycott the World Cup.


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 buy all the shoes with our own money, play football in them and test them in our lab. We weigh them, cut them in half, and then subject to dozens of lab tests using many of our instruments like durometers, calipers, a microscope, force gauge, dremmel, smoke machine. This way, we ensure the highest level of objectivity when it comes to shoe reviews. Our Methodology page has details covering all the tests we do and how we do them.

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.