The claim that football and domestic abuse are linked is a myth according to research from Glasgow Caledonian University, the University of Glasgow and the University of Bristol.
The study claimed the data behind reports linking a spike in cases to Old Firm results or the outcome of England World Cup games is misleading and fails to recognise abuse as a pattern of ongoing behaviour.
Dr Nancy Lombard, reader in sociology and social policy at Glasgow Caledonian University highlighted concerns about the reliability and implications of the “causal link between football and domestic violence and abuse”.
Lombard said: “Specialist domestic violence and abuse service providers were concerned that focusing on football masks the underlying causes and potentially offers perpetrators excuses for their abusive behaviour.”
The findings used focus groups and one-to-one interviews with police, support groups and football authorities have been published in the Journal of Gender-Based violence.
The first in-depth study comes as The Caledonian System, a programme that aims to aims to combat domestic abuse through the rehabilitation of male perpetrators and work to improve the lives of affected women and children has been given a further £2.8 million in funding from the Scottish Government.