Douglas Todd: Canadians’ World Cup loyalties all over map, poll reveals

The different loyalties of multicultural Canadians are on display in an Angus Reid Institute poll that shows England, Brazil and France are the remaining World Cup 2018 teams with the most Canadian fans.

Asked “which one or two teams are you cheering for?” Canadians offered diverse answers based on whether they are anglophone or francophone, young or old, Conservative or NDP, Albertan or British Columbian.

About 13 million Canadians are watching the FIFA World Cup in Russia, according to a poll by the Angus Reid Institute. That’s 37 per cent of the national population (including an equal proportion of British Columbians).

With Canada being home to people of more than 250 ethnic origins, the flags of virtually every participating 2018 World Cup nation can at times be spotted waving from cars cruising the streets of Canada’s major cities.

When it comes to the world’s most watched sporting event, Canadians seem to be choosing their soccer/football favourites based on a national team’s quality, their own cultural roots, political biases, age and sheer quirkiness.

Nationally, 18 per cent of Canadians following the World Cup are cheering for the success of England, 12 per cent for Brazil and seven per cent for France.

The English team is most popular in anglophone Ontario, while the French team is more favoured in francophone Quebec. Fans of Brazil’s team are spread across English- and French-speaking Canada.

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Other significant findings from the Angus Reid online survey of 1,268 Canadians reveal that half of us are bothered by corruption in global soccer, at the same time 46 per cent are looking forward to Canada co-hosting the 2026 World Cup (with the U.S. and Mexico).

B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan, despite the World Cup excitement, will be pleased to discover that 68 per cent of British Columbians support his government’s decision to withdraw Vancouver as a host city for 2026 — since FIFA did not clarify how much it would cost local taxpayers.

The Angus Reid poll confirms Canadians have complicated feelings about the World Cup, for which the country’s team has not qualified for since 1986.

That includes the puzzle of why many Canadians value the Brazilian team, despite this country being home to precious few Brazilians. Something similar goes for the Portugal squad led by star striker …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Entertainment

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