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2010 World Cup Injury Stats and Why Fouls Need to be Tackled at World Cup 2014

soccer infographic.sm  600x340 2010 World Cup Injury Stats and Why Fouls Need to be Tackled at World Cup 2014

The stats from the 2010 World Cup are a good predictor of what we can expect at this 2014 World Cup.

At the 2010 World Cup, there were 229 injuries, of which 126 happened during matches instead of training. 71% of them were as a result of contact between two players and 47% of those were caused by fouls. This means a significant number of injuries, particularly to the lower leg, ankle and foot are caused by players breaking or bending the rules.

Since the 1998 World Cup, FIFA’s stats show a gradual decrease in the overall number of injuries, but considering the financial implications for clubs and the potentially altered outcome of matches because of a missing, injured player, it’s well worth looking at ways to get the number of injuries caused by fouls down. How can this be done?

1. Referees can be taught about how they are able to influence injury rates. Strict refereeing can encourage a spirit of fair play, deterring players from taking unsafe risks and doing dodgy tackles. They have already got powers to enforce strict sanctions when players carry out moves that they deem to be injurious to players. A referee is there to enforce the rules and some of the rules are there to keep players safe!

2. Rules of the game can be improved. FIFA do actually do this already. For example, players can no longer put their hands up when they jump, which has helped decrease head and face injuries caused by wayward elbows. This is a slow process, but one that will have incremental benefits over time.

3. Technology! At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, we’ve seen the introduction of goal line technology for the first time after Sepp Blatter did a U-turn on his decision not to rely on tech to determine outcomes. Embracing technology in the game will no doubt see innovative ideas to reduce injury, but also, anything that’s introduced to encourage fair play will reduce the number of players going in for risky, injury-inducing tackles.

4. Alterations to playing styles. Coaches can have a hand in shaping the way a team plays and what sort of tactics players use. There are, overall more injuries during a World Cup tournament than any other type of match and this could be partly to do with the huge array of playing styles all coming together and clashing. Coaches can take the safety of the players into consideration as well as strategies for winning. Substituting a player with a previous injury or encouraging less contact between players could both impact injury rates and could ultimately mean that they’re not missing a crucial player in an important match!

The stats from the 2010 World Cup are a good predictor of what we can expect at this World Cup, but with the introduction of new technology for referees we might see further reductions in injury numbers as players are kept firmly in line.

Check out the Apostherapy infographic for more 2010 World Cup injury stats!

2010 world cup injuries infographic 600x848 2010 World Cup Injury Stats and Why Fouls Need to be Tackled at World Cup 2014

This entry was posted in World Cup, World Cup 2010, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 2010 World Cup Injury Stats and Why Fouls Need to be Tackled at World Cup 2014

  1. Dean Stell says:

    All of the above. The players are super hyped up and I can kinda understand why the games are rougher.

    I blame the refs. They just don’t want to pull red cards during the world cup, so they let stuff go that would be a straight red in virtually any other game.

    Consider the US game versus Ghana. Clint Dempsey got his nose broken when he got kicked in the face by a Nigerian player’s shin. This happened while he was a the top of his jump for a header. Can a boot get any higher and any more reckless than that? If a red card was given for that during league play, nobody would have a problem with it. But in this case, it wasn’t even a foul. Not even a yellow to tell the guy, “Hey man….I know you’re excited, but you have to chill out a little bit!”

    Then there was the thing with Muntari and Jermaine Jones where Muntari lunged at Jones from behind with both feet and was way late. That could be a yellow or red easily. Then when they got tangled up on the ground, Muntari decided to push and shove and talk smack to Jones. That could have been a red in a league game and nobody would complain too much.

    Anyway….refs need to do better to protect players, especially when players are excited.

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