Evidence from the National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) suggests that reports of domestic violence increased sharply during the 2018 World Cup tournament, despite England’s success. The charity received 2,619 reports of domestic violence between the 1st and 10th July this year - an increase of 500 when compared with a similar 10-day period before the competition began.
The link between football and domestic violence has been well-established for many years. Academic research, combined with police reports, has consistently demonstrated that reports of domestic violence - particularly violence perpetrated by men against women - tend to increase dramatically during high-profile matches and international tournaments. During the 2010 World Cup, for example, Lancaster police force experienced a shocking 38% increase in domestic abuse cases reported to them after matches in which England lost. Even when the team won, there was still a sharp increase of 26%.
Charities are quick to confirm that it is not football itself which causes violence, but other factors surrounding it, such as increased alcohol consumption, aggression and even the hotter weather this summer. The tension surrounding an important match can make people lash out, regardless of the result. Whatever the size of the sporting stakes, the NCDV has expressed that there is no excuse for domestic violence, and urges victims to report abuse all year round.