Does the FIFA World Cup Have a Halftime Show?

Held once every four years, the World Cup is undoubtedly the biggest sporting event in the world.

If this is the first time you’ve watched it, then you will probably be wondering, what’s the halftime show going to be like? Or is there even one?

There is no halftime show in the World Cup for the following reasons:

  • The World Cup has a unique audience
  • Soccer works better with shorter interruptions
  • It is planned much further in advance

The World Cup is an event everyone looks forward to, and watching it will be an experience you will never forget.

Read on to find out why the world cup doesn’t have a halftime show and if a halftime show makes this experience better or worse.

post title over image of soccer game

Why Does the World Cup Not Include a Halftime Show?

So if halftime shows are so great, why does the World Cup not use them, considering it’s pretty much the most viewed sporting event on the planet?

Well, the answer is that it is already the greatest sporting event on the planet without one.  

The World Cup doesn’t need a halftime show because the game itself is the main draw for people.

Some people only watch the Super Bowl for commercials or just because they get invited to parties. 

The World Cup, on the other hand, is an event that everybody watches for the game itself, and therefore the game deserves to be uninterrupted and played in its full glory. 

90 minutes of nonstop thrills and excitement that would only be compromised if it was interrupted halfway through for a musical performance.

Let’s look at this in a little more detail.

3 Reasons the World Cup Does Not Have a Halftime Show

The World Cup does not have a conventional halftime show in the same way that we expect in American football games.

It’s also different in that soccer doesn’t always restrict players’ participation by age. You can learn more about that in my article – Why there is no age limit at the FIFA World Cup.

There are a lot of reasons for this that I’ll explain to you now.

1. Football Is Different From Soccer

The first reason is that football is just a different sport than soccer. Although there are similarities, soccer emphasizes uninterrupted play because games have a different momentum to them.

Football games are more “stop-start” and can last much longer than a soccer game.

Implementing a halftime show in soccer would be difficult when the sport requires momentum to increase the level of excitement in the play.

2. The International Audience Prefers a Short Halftime Break

The reality is that halftime shows are mostly an American concept. Football uses them extensively during games, most famously at the Super Bowl.

On the other hand, soccer is more international; therefore, concepts like a halftime show don’t apply in the same way and are not expected by the fans.

This desire is why soccer sticks to a short halftime break.

As I mentioned in my article all about halftime in soccer, halftime in the world cup lasts for 15 minutes in both men’s and women’s competitions.

3. It Would Be Too Complicated to Organize

The World Cup is held every four years.

This can make scheduling someone to play a halftime show a bit of a hassle since the games are planned so far in advance.

Who knows if a band performing today will even still be together in four years?

It’s also unrealistic to assume they will have their time scheduled years in advance.

The World Cup is a much different beast from sports games around the world, even America’s biggest tournament, the Super Bowl.

Fans from around the world wait with eager anticipation every four years for the World Cup, and it is the most viewed occasion on television, with an estimated 3.5 billion people watching the final.

This surpasses even the likes of the Olympics.

If you’re interested in why soccer is so much more popular internationally than it is in the States, check out my article – Why soccer isn’t popular in the US.

world cup fans
Fans at the World Cup

What Are the Advantages of Having a Halftime Show?

The World Cup has halftime breaks but no halftime shows.

But some people have raised the question of whether it would be better if soccer did have a halftime show.

Would the event benefit from having a halftime show?

The Audience and Players Can Have a Break

Halftime is a great way for both players and audiences to rest while the game is getting heated.

This allows people to rehydrate, grab some food, and use the facilities.

It also allows the players to take care of injuries, discuss their strategies, and prepare for the rest of the game. 

You Get More Bang for Your Buck

The halftime show performance can also give spectators more value for their tickets.

Because you are getting to watch an amazing game and a full-fledged concert, you are essentially getting a two-for-one deal. 

Tickets are not cheap, and just seeing an international artist by themself would cost you a pretty penny.

With the halftime show, you’re not only getting a full performance, but you’re also getting the entire game on top of that.

So halftime shows are a great value to incentivize people to come and watch the games live.

Makes More Memories

A halftime show would also add to the atmosphere, making games feel more like an event and a celebration.

For important games like the Super Bowl and various other finals, you want to feel like it is a memory that will last a lifetime.

Halftime shows, with their unique performances, will help you immortalize that moment forever.

World Cup Game
World Cup Game

Is the World Cup Better Without a Halftime Show?

Something that makes soccer enjoyable is the fact that it is an incredibly intense and fast-paced game.

A goal could happen within seconds, and it needs undivided attention.

Compare this to football games which are slower-paced and often emphasize more breaks in the action. 

Think of it like this.

A movie in many foreign markets has an intermission where they pick a specific point halfway through and take a 10-minute break so that viewers can go to the bathroom and get food.

Intermissions are typically factored into the movie itself, and many directors will even film scenes that are our designated stopping and starting points. 

This cannot be applied to soccer because nobody knows when a game will have a decent stopping point.

Soccer is a sport that is on 100% energy all the time. 

So that would be like if a movie would stop for an extended break halfway through without any regard for the movie itself, like a character in the middle of a sentence getting cut off and not being able to continue until all momentum has been lost.


So that is why a halftime show for a soccer game would not be a good idea.

Especially for something considered the world’s biggest game, like the World Cup. 

Thankfully football continues to give us amazing and timeless halftime shows, while soccer gives us the edge-of-our-seat thrills completely uninterrupted.

At the end of the day, what matters most is what is best for the game in order to make the World Cup the greatest possible experience it can be.

Ben Clayfield

Hi! My name's Ben. I've played, watched, read about, and enjoyed soccer throughout my life. I really enjoy finding out more about the game I love and sharing it with you all. Find out more about me here - Ben Clayfield

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