The soccer World Cup is an iconic event. For the World Cup Final in 2014, it was estimated that half of the whole of humanity tuned in to watch. That’s how big it is. It even started to garner huge popularity in the US, although nowhere near as much as in Europe and South America.

The way the World Cup is addressed and celebrated differs from country to country. We’re going to show you how.

  1. Some Countries Don’t Care

For Europeans, this may come as a shock, but outside of this football heartland there are many nations where the mainstream don’t care as much. In Australia, it isn’t as big as you may think. Obviously, many non-soccer nations also didn’t pay much attention.

We have to admit this is becoming increasingly less common, though.

  1. Some Places Ban Sports Betting

Sports betting surprisingly goes wild as the bookmaker’s wheel out incredible offers for this special occasion. Nevertheless, in some places you won’t see a single TV ad for a betting site anywhere. UK readers will be startled to read that in the US sports betting is banned in many states.

  1. Some Countries Make Sure You Never Come Back

The World Cup is only a game, although to some countries this just isn’t the case. Whether it’s seeing yourself banned from international football, as in Nigeria, or simply being banned from representing your country again, that’s nothing compared to what North Korea did in 2010.

To put it mildly, the North Korean team lost 7-1 to Portugal. They returned home and nobody has seen them since.

  1. Some Countries Just Stop

In France and Germany, the World Cup is a big deal. Soccer is a big deal, but people go about their lives as normal. They may sit down in a bar or crack open a cold one at home, but everything happens as it should.

Brazil, however, sees huge street parties. The entire country halts. In addition, if you’re not celebrating, you better have a very good reason for it.

  1. Some Countries Lose their Shirts

What many people forget is what happens after the soccer World Cup. Unfortunately, all we have to do is look at the likes of South Africa and Brazil to see what happens when the festivities die down. Left with billions of dollars of debt and state-of-the-art stadiums with no teams to play in them, national economies are flushed down the toilet.

We’ve seen the same story with the Olympics. Think Barcelona and think Athens. The site of crumbling stadiums has been seared into the news cameras the world over. It’s why many countries simply don’t apply to host the Olympics any longer.


Let’s remember that while the World Cup is an epic tournament that holds the title of the biggest in the world, countries differ in how they approach it. From outright apathy to religious fanaticism, it evokes a range of emotions.

How does your country celebrate this spectacle?