Domestic Violence: The Dark Side of Euro 2020

Football matches exacerbate rates of domestic violence, U.K. charities warn.


The UEFA Euro 2020 finals saw a nail-biting match played last evening between Italy and England. Italy took the championship title home, defeating England 3-2 in the final penalties. While millions across the world spent the night celebrating their country’s Euro win or mourning their unexpected loss, the consequences of football events are significantly greater. UK charities have warned that international rates of domestic violence against women spike following a football game. 

Statistics from Lancaster University reveal that the risk of domestic violence increased by 26% when the English team wins or draws, while a 38% rise is observed when the national team loses. Farah Nazeer, chief executive of the Women’s Aid, stated “Football doesn’t cause domestic abuse, perpetrators do… But we know that football can be a catalyst for domestic abuse– there are stats to show that.” The correlation extends beyond football, remaining true in sports with predominantly male followings. 

Previous World Cups billboards campaigning against domestic abuse have been warning perpetrators with slogans such as "Leave the striking to the players" and "Blow the whistle on domestic abuse".


Increased alcohol consumption and intense emotions that accompany prominent football games contribute to escalating domestic violence and its severity. Victims are especially vulnerable during the ongoing pandemic; the charity Refuge has recorded a 61% increase in SOS calls from domestic abuse victims during the global health emergency. 

Police and frontline domestic violence services have been preparing for a spike in calls from domestic abuse victims during the Euro games. Arrests have already been made in Nottingham city for domestic abuse cases linked to England’s Euro 2020 defeat yesterday. Nottinghamshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable commented, “We would urge anyone who is affected by domestic abuse or domestic violence to get in touch with the police or a support service…Using violence to take out anger and frustration as a result of a football match is abhorrent and shameful.”

If you or anyone you know has been affected by domestic abuse in the UK, you can contact the Refuge 24/7 national domestic abuse helpline at 0808 2000 247, or find support at www.womensaid.org.uk. Victims in the US should call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).

Remember, you are not alone. 


Next Up, Turkey Withdraws From International Treaty Legislated To Prevent Violence Against Women