Empty stadiums affect referee behaviour - study
It has become a familiar sight – professional sports played in front of nobody.
Does playing in an empty stadium neutralise home ground advantage, asked Refilwe Moloto in an interview with famed sports scientist Dr Ross Tucker.
“It must affect the players’ psyche considerably,” said Tucker.
He estimates that home advantage has diminished by between 2% and 5%.
“These are all entertainers; they love the crowds and adulation. It must be difficult to motivate yourself to play matches in front of nobody.
“It’s true that, when you play in front of your own people, you defend your turf; it’s an advantage.”
In other words, players are affected, but probably not by much.
Referees, however, cannot help being moved by crowds.
Studies came out… The sound of the crowd reacting to a tackle influences a referee in a subconscious way… Home teams are now less likely to win free-kicks and yellow cards… Empty stadiums make a difference to referee behaviour…Dr Ross Tucker, sports scientist
For more detail, listen to the interview in the audio below.
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