After a three-decade run in which red cards at the World Cup rose at a quick pace, the number of expulsions were actually way down in the 2010 World Cup and that trend may continue this year in Brazil.
In a report analysing the economics of the World Cup, Goldman Sachs showed that the rate of handing out red cards in the World Cup followed a similar trend as violent crimes in England and Wales.
“While it is true that red card rules have tightened over time, which may account for some of the increase, so have criminal laws off the football field,” says the report.”The good news is that the most recent observations point to a downward trend. Both among citizens and among footballers, behaviour appears to be improving — or at least stronger policing is putting an end to the seemingly inexorable rise in violence against fellow citizens and fellow footballing professionals.”
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