The Rugby World Cup in 2019 is being billed as the most popular football tournament in history.
But for many it is not.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) said on Thursday it expects the 2019 tournament to draw 30.3 million fans, a rise of 8.4 per cent on the 2016 edition, which was held in Australia.
This is on top of a 7.6 per cent increase for last year’s tournament in the UK, the IFAB said.
The World Cup, which has been in operation since 1908, is currently the most-watched sporting event on television in the world.
The 2018 World Cup was watched by an estimated 3.4 billion people and is the most watched tournament in world history.
In terms of audience, the World Cups of the 1970s and ’80s are the biggest sports events of all time.
But unlike the Olympics, which are broadcast on national TV, the 2019 World Cup is being played on BBC One in the United Kingdom, where the BBC Sport coverage will air live on Sunday.