Fans who believe that their presence is extremely important for their favorite team are mistaken. As a study carried out by the staff of the German Sports University Cologne has shown, the roar of the crowd and the applause do not, by and large, decide anything. Only the native walls are important. Reported by New Scientist.
An analysis of the games played throughout the history of European football leagues shows that the home team win about 50% of the matches, and the probability of a draw and a home defeat is about 25%. It was believed that the advantage is not least due to the support of the fans: it inspires the players of the team hosting the match at their home stadium, and unwittingly forces the referees to make decisions that are beneficial for the hosts.
The closure of sports stadiums to fans during the coronavirus pandemic has allowed German scientists to test these ideas. They looked at data from 40,000 men's soccer games played across Europe before and after the pandemic, including more than 1,000 behind closed doors.
It turned out that the favor of the hosts on the part of the referees became less noticeable: in the matches played during the lockout, the guests received fewer yellow and red cards. The share of matches won by guests has increased, but so slightly that the figure is not statistically significant.
Researchers believe that the main factor in the advantage of a home is territorial. It's like the behavior of children who feel free at home and become more restrained when visiting.
According to scientists, the results are quite amazing, but it is too early to draw conclusions. The closed-door matches continue, so there is an opportunity to confirm or disprove the hypothesis.
The materials were published in the PLoS One magazine.