RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil’s World Cup is setting records and near-records in defiance of the negative impression created by last year’s street protests during the warm-up Confederations Cup writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The virtual capacity attendances at the four quarter-final ties on Friday and Saturday took the aggregate thus far to a total 3,165,693. That works out at an average per match of 52,762 which has overtaken the 52,491 recorded in Germany in 2006.
This is, however, only second in the all-time World Cup attendance stakes. By far and away the highest average was the 68,991 registered in the United States in 1994.
As a FIFA spokesperson noted today, the high number in the US owed a great deal to the size of all the stadia which outstripped stadia size at all other finals tournaments.
However, the figure also illustrated that Americans are great sports event supporters and that the awakening to association football is not some new phenomenon – as some media coverage had suggested in reporting enthusiastic support for the US team in Brazil.
Brazil can be happy with more than the in-stadia support. The fan fests, whose organisation was grumpily resisted initially by several cities, have also generated a record attendance gross so far of 4,284,421.