94% of football fans in Singapore have gone overseas to watch a match – and almost half booked their trips on the pretense of a romantic getaway

Out of 500 fans surveyed by travel company Expedia Group, 47 per cent admitted to pretending to book a romantic getaway with their other half just to watch a football match.
Singapore Press Holdings

How far would you go to catch your favourite football team live in action? For many die-hard fans in Singapore, the effort cannot be measured by distance alone.

Out of 500 fans surveyed by travel company Expedia Group, 47 per cent admitted to pretending to book a romantic getaway with their other half just to watch a football match.

The study on football travel trends also found that 94 per cent of football fans in Singapore have travelled out of the country to catch a match. Additionally, each of these fans visited an average of 2.7 countries per person.

Unsurprisingly, the results released on Wednesday (May 22) revealed that 76 per cent of fans surveyed planned their holidays around sporting events, while another 46 per cent admitted to changing travel plans so that they would not miss a match.

When it came to testing the divided loyalties of fans, 28 per cent of respondents said that they would miss a birthday party to watch a football match, while another 21 per cent would rather catch a game than attend someone’s wedding.

Worryingly, around 13 per cent of respondents said they would choose to watch a football match over having dinner with their parents.

To dedicated fans, the destination matters just as much as the match itself.

When respondents were asked which stadium they wanted to watch a football match at most, Old Trafford stadium – home to Manchester United Football Club – took the top spot with nearly a third (29 per cent) of the votes.

Coming in second place with 20 per cent of the votes was Anfield stadium, the homeground of Liverpool Football Club. England’s national football team’s Wembley stadium in London came in third with 14 per cent of the votes.

The study also revealed that football fanatics here would like to travel with ex-footballers over even the hottest celebrities today.

Former English midfielder David Beckham and former Brazilian forward Ronaldo clinched first and second place with 26 per cent and 21 per cent of the votes respectively.

In comparison, Taylor Swift only had 12 per cent of the votes.

The footballer that Singaporean fans desired to “buddy up” with most on a holiday was a joint win between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who each held 20 per cent of the votes.

Mohamed Salah and Neymar both tied in second place, with each of them garnering 10 per cent of the votes.

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