Bucking dire predictions of domestic disharmony in China during the World Cup finals, an online survey has revealed that more than 80 per cent of Chinese women plan to watch at least some of the football matches.
Reports in the Chinese media in the run-up to the tournament forecast a war between the sexes, as men stay up into the small hours to watch the action from Germany on television.
"Surprisingly there is a considerable share of the female audience who are open to watching the game," said Rene Bos of marketing information provider AC Nielsen, who conducted the survey.
"In fact, according to findings in our online study, only 15 per cent of females have indicated no interest in the game."
Despite China's failure to qualify for the finals, the survey revealed that 30 per cent of the women were "very much interested" in watching matches. Two-thirds of male respondents expressed the same level of interest with 65 per cent intending to watch "as much as possible" of the finals.
Although Brazil are the overwhelming favourite team of more than a third of those surveyed, England, led by photogenic skipper David Beckham, enjoy the backing of 18 per cent of Chinese women.
In spite of the apparent consensus, the late night broadcast of World Cup matches has already contributed to one tragedy in Southwest China's Sichuan Province.
The Tianfu Morning Post reported that a woman committed suicide by leaping from the 17th floor of an apartment building in Chengdu after a row with her boyfriend, who wanted to watch a World Cup match in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Source: China Daily