Referees definitely favour home sides, say scientists



A new study is claiming to prove that football referees favour home teams.

Austrian researchers Matthias Sutter and Martin Kocher analysed all games from the German 2000/2001 Bundesliga season.

They found referees tended to add more extra time if the home team was behind after 90 minutes.

They were also less likely to award a penalty to visiting teams and twice as likely to send off an away team player.

But the scientists stop short of attributing the phenomenon to open bias.

"Their decisions in stressful situations are influenced significantly by the shouting crowds," Martin Kocher told the Berliner Kurier newspaper.

He suggested a wider use of video-based referees could be the solution.