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Link between World Cup football and domestic violence

A study from Lancaster University has found evidence of a link between England’s World Cup football matches and incidences of domestic violence.

Researchers looked at domestic abuse figures from Lancashire police over three different World Cup periods – 2002, 2006 and 2010. They found a 38% rise in the number of incidents of domestic violence when the England team played a match and lost compared to days when England weren’t involved in a match. Even when the English team won or drew a match, there was still a 26% increase in the number of domestic violence incidents compared to non-match days.

The study also found evidence of a ‘carry-over’ effect, where the number of domestic violence incidents was still 11% higher than normal the day after an England match.

The researchers suggested a number of possible reasons for the link, explaining that: “The tournament is held in the summer and is associated with warmer temperatures, increased alcohol consumption and brings individuals in closer proximity to others.

“Although it is difficult to say the tournament is a causal factor, the prestigious tournament does concentrate the risk factors into a short and volatile period, thereby intensifying the concepts of masculinity, rivalry and aggression.”

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