From The Atlantic, October 15, 2012:
Professor Allan Brimicombe and BBC News journalist Rebecca Café conducted a study based on the U.K. Home Office’s theory that domestic violence had risen during the 2006 World Cup tournament. They looked at police reports from the 2010 World Cup and the equivalent period in 2009 when there was no football, studying both the overall rate of domestic violence and the outcomes of the tournament games. Their prediction was that domestic disputes would spike after losses, while the joy of wins might lead to a fall in incidents of violence. Brimicombe and Café found, however, that both wins and losses predicted a boost in domestic violence in England, while ties appeared not to impact the rate of abuse. They caution that football tournaments do not lead directly abuse, but rather “…the excitement, disappointment and flow of adrenalin resulting from watching a national team play may exacerbate existing tensions within a relationship and result in lost tempers and violence or abuse.” Brimicombe and Café also point out that increased alcohol consumption could also be a factor.
The full study, “Beware, Win or Lose: Domestic Violence and the World Cup,” is published in Significance.