News Copy – By Emma Elsworthy

Millions of women are enjoying the World Cup – to such an extent their HUSBANDS are fed up with non-stop football being on the telly, a study has found.

Despite football stereotypically being seen as a man’s game, more than half of the 1,500 women polled said they were tuning into the tournament on a daily basis.

And almost one in five said they are far more excited about the showpiece FIFA tournament than their partner is.

It also emerged more than one in ten have even faced pleas from their husband or boyfriends to change channels so they can watch something else.

But it isn’t only the current generation of women who are following events in Russia closely, younger females are growing up football-mad too.

A separate poll of 500 girls aged 6-16 found that more girls now aspire to be a football player (22 per cent) themselves than a WAG (nine per cent).

More than one in 20 even went as far as to admit they would like to follow in the footsteps of Gareth Southgate and manage a football team at some point.

The stats emerged in a study by, whose football expert Kerry Whelpdale said: “When it comes to the World Cup, women know the score and are following footie in ever-increasing numbers.

“The girls game is growing far faster than the men’s and this year’s World Cup has introduced even more mums – and daughters – to the joys of the beautiful game.

“Whether you watch for the skills, the score or let’s be honest, for some of the players, the World Cup is a brilliant way to bring the whole family together.”

The study also found 57 per cent of women believe there should be more female pundits analysing World Cup games.

Sadly, 44 per cent of respondents believe football is an inherently sexist sport – although three quarters felt strides have been made in recent years to make football more inclusive for women.

One third of females also actively follow a Premier League or EFL team, with 20 per cent holding season tickets to watch their side play regularly.

But despite this, 46 per cent of women still don’t feel empowered to have an opinion about football.

The research also cheekily asked women to name the most handsome players who have travelled to Russia in a bid to reveal a starting line-up of the fittest players in the world.

Gareth Southgate was voted the sexiest team manager, while Gerard Pique is among the most attractive defenders and Cristiano Ronaldo providing eye candy in attack.

In the midfield, Jaoa Mario gives the ladies something to watch out for, and women would be happy to see Jack Butland in goal.

Almost one in six (16 per cent) of female footie fans admitted to occasionally tuning in to matches just to enjoy the striking sportsmen on display.

* To accompany the survey results, created an image puzzle, with a baby-faced supporter hiding in the crowd.

Can you spot the pint-sized fan?

GK – Jack Butland (England)
DEF – Gerard Pique (Spain)
DEF – Sergio Ramos (Spain)
DEF – Gary Cahill (England)
DEF – Diego Reyes (Mexico)
MID – Jaoa Mario (Portugal)
MID – Eric Dier (England)
MID – Isco (Spain)
MID – Philippe Coutinho (Brazil)
ATT – Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
ATT – Lionel Messi (Argentina)
MANAGER – Gareth Southgate (England)


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