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Wed. 28 February 2024

Penalty cards, fouls and injury time across the world

Issue number 453 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post analyses the StatsPerform and Wyscout data on the number of cards, fouls and injury time measured over the last year for 71 leagues around the world. The study shows major differences between leagues in terms of all the indicators taken into account, reflecting different ways of interpreting the game by both players and referees.

In terms of red cards, the values range from 0.61 per match in Bolivia to 0.10 in the Japanese J2. For yellow cards, the extremes were measured in Uruguay (6.07) and, again, in the Japanese J2 (2.73). As for fouls, the maximum was recorded in the Brazilian Serie B (30.3 per match), while the minimum was observed in Norway and the Netherlands (20.0 in both cases). In terms of extra time, the data ranges from almost 14’ in Qatar and Saudi Arabia to 6’ in Finland and Slovakia.

If we relate the number of fouls to yellow cards (second yellow included), the values stretch from about one card every four fouls in Chile to one every eight in Japan. Among the European big-5 leagues, this ratio is much higher in the French Ligue 1 (6.8) than anywhere else (around 5), which may reflect either a lower propensity to hand out cards or a greater tendency on the part of referees to whistle for ‘small’ fouls.

>>> All the data

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