How popular is football in New Zealand?

How popular is football in New Zealand?

Football is one of the most popular sports in the world. This is apparent from the number of viewers watching the current football World Cup in Qatar.

FIFA claims that the World Cup 2022 is “delivering record-breaking TV audience numbers”.  The football industry itself is a huge industry, bringing in billions in revenue.


Although football is popular across the globe, some countries seem to be more passionate about the sport than others. For example, football is extremely popular in some European countries.

Some of these countries include Spain and Italy. But is football also popular in a country like New Zealand?

This article will focus on New Zealand in order to determine whether football is popular on the island.

New Zealand’s favourite sports

Several articles discuss the most popular sports of New Zealand. They all place rugby as the most popular sport in the country.

Indeed, football is nowhere as popular as rugby in New Zealand. The national men’s rugby team is one of the most famous teams in the world, renowned and respected for its talent and expertise.

It is known as the All Blacks and is one of the most successful rugby team along with the South African one. The All Blacks have won the Rugby World Cup three times: in 1987, 2011 and 2015.

It is the only rugby team to have won the World Cup twice in a row. Considering these exceptional achievements in rugby, itis not surprising that it is the locals’ favourite sport.

Football is usually ranked fourth or fifth on the lists of the most popular sports in New Zealand. It is surpassed by locals’ love of netball, cricket, and basketball.

Football is still a sport that individuals enjoy but it is far from being the most popular. Its lower popularity might be linked to the national football team’s overall performance.

The New Zealand team is not known for its football skills or for having star players. It is currently ranked 105th on the 2022 FIFA ranking.

The team did not end up qualifying for the 2022 World Cupafter losing to Costa Rica. Because of this defeat, fans of football in New Zealand are unable to watch their national team compete against other national teams.

This might be one of the reasons why football is not as popular in New Zealand as it is in other countries. However, there is still a group of football supporters in the country called the ‘White Noise’.

Future victories might make football more popular in New Zealand and help the ‘White Noise’ supporters attract more locals. Another element that could help New Zealand boost the popularity of football would be to establish professional football clubs in the country.

Indeed, the island only offers semi-professional clubs which might explain why locals have little interest in watching national matches between clubs. Developing professional clubs might change the image that the sport has within the country.

New Zealand’s sports betting options

Sports betting is a popular practice and can be found throughout the world. In New Zealand, sports betting, in this case online sports betting specifically, is legal. Those interested in sports betting can choose from many different bookmakers in New Zealand.

For those who are new to sports betting, bookmakers are those who receive individuals’ bets. They will calculate the odds and pay out winnings to players.

A bookmaker can sometimes be the manager of a betting shop themselves. Those looking to place a bet will have to go through a bookmaker either via a regulated betting website or in a land-based venue.

Sports betting is very popular in New Zealand. Football is actually in the list of the most popular sports bets in the country.

Here is a list of the most popular sports on which individuals place their sports bets:

● football
● tennis
● horse racing
● basketball
● rugby
● boxing
● cricket
● golf

Sports bets are actually useful ways to boost the popularity of a sport. It has likely boosted the popularity of football on the island although the sport still struggles to become the nation’s most popular sport.

The future of football in New Zealand

Football is not the most popular sport in New Zealand but remains one of the country’s top ten sports. Despite its lower popularity, football is still one of the preferred sports when it comes to sports betting.

Locals love sports betting and enjoy betting on matches even if their national team or semi-professional clubs are not playing.

The future of football in New Zealand will depend on future performances by the national football team. If it qualifies for the next World Cup, the sport’s national popularity will suddenly explode.

Fans will place more bets on their team and will become more passionate about the sport itself. The country could also develop professional football teams to boost the sport’s popularity.

However, if this does not happen, the sport will likely remain less popular than in other countries.

As for betting, it will likely continue to grow and expand in New Zealand. Sports fans still love to place bets and now love that these bets can be placed virtually without needing to visit a land-based venue.

Final thoughts

This article determined that football is not as popular in New Zealand as it is in other countries. As mentioned in this article, there are several reasons behind the sport’s lower popularity on the island.

Sports betting, on the other hand, seems to be just as popular in New Zealand as it is in other countries.

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