Football has been confirmed as the number one sport in Wales following the publication of an independent report by Nielsen, a global leader in audience research.
Football interest has continued to increase since research in Wales was first conducted in 2016. However, for the first time, football is now the number one interest sport in Wales and continues to be the number one participation sport for children and adults. Football marginally takeovers as the #1 sport in Wales (47%), ahead of Rugby Union (45%).
In recent years, both boxing and tennis has seen a small decline in popularity, whereas motorsport is slowly edging back (up 1% to 19%), following previous highs of 22% in 2016.
Nielsen conducted the research in Wales during April 2022 using standard methodologies on behalf of UEFA. The research is conducted every two years and provides an accurate assessment of Welsh football through a nationally representative sample of the 18+ population based on age, gender and region.
The research also shows that interest in the Cymru international teams continues to grow, with a notable increase in Women’s National Team interest that has doubled since 2016.
The research also provides a European benchmark to show how the Football Association of Wales and Welsh Football performs in comparison to sports and organisations in other countries. Once again, both perform very well against the benchmark and in much of the report, well above it.
The research also provides the FAW with insights on areas where awareness and interest may have decreased so that focus can be provided to rectify the observations.
Noel Mooney, FAW Chief Executive, said: “On the whole this report is very positive and I’m incredibly pleased to see that the game which we are entrusted to run is now the number one interest sport in the country.
“This independent report is testament to hard work of FAW employees, Area Associations, Leagues, Clubs and volunteers right across the country who raise awareness, interest and perceptions of our wonderful game.
“In conjunction with our strategic aims for Welsh football, this research provides us with insights on where we can continue to grow and what areas we need to focus on for improvement.”