Football over sex and anniversaries, say female fans here in new survey

SINGAPORE – Would you sacrifice your anniversary celebrations to watch a live football match?

Nearly one in five female football fans in Singapore say they would. According to a new survey from travel site Expedia and Hotels.com on football travel trends, women were more willing to put aside certain activities for the game, than their male counterparts.

The survey also found that 34 per cent of female fans here would plan their annual leave around football games, though only 26 per cent of male fans would do the same.

Ms Chelsea Koh, 27, is one such devotee. The marketing executive, a Liverpool supporter, said she used to plan her leave accordingly just to catch a football match in the wee hours of a weekday.

“Every match is important to me. Sometimes if we lose a game, I won’t be motivated to come to work because it affects my mood,” she said.

“Planning leave (around football) is something I will go all out to do. Some people who don’t watch football won’t understand this.”

The survey of 16,500 people around the world, including 500 in Singapore, was released last Monday (May 23) ahead of the Champions League final between English clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in Madrid on Saturday (June 1) night (Sunday Singapore time).

A third of the Singaporeans polled would give up desserts and drinks for a month to watch a live game.

The study also found that for some millennials, watching football matters more than sex and love. Of the fans from Singapore surveyed, 19 per cent of millennials here said they would skip sex to watch a live match, while 7 per cent would miss their own wedding.

Another Liverpool fan, Ms Zhou Yijing, 25, has gone the distance for football. Last year, on a return trip from New York, the communications intern made a detour to Russia to watch the World Cup.

While she agreed that she would prioritise watching a match over sex, she drew the line at missing her own wedding.

“I just don’t know who would miss their own wedding for a game,” added Ms Zhou.

Ms Koh, who is getting married June next year, was asked by her fiance, a fellow Liverpool fan, what she would do if their big day coincided with the Champions League final this Sunday.

Her reply? Screen the match on the projector at the wedding.

“I told him honestly; this is the biggest game the team has ever had to play, so no way would I miss it,” she said.

As for giving up a romp for the beautiful game, Ms Koh said she would “choose football anytime”. “You can always do it after the game – but it will depend on whether the team won or lost,” she added with a chuckle.

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