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Analysis of time-wasting in English Premier League football matches: Evidence for unethical behavior in final minutes of close contests

Elia Morgulev and Yair Galily

Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), 2019, vol. 81, issue C, 1-8

Abstract: Football is an important field of human endeavor that has the potential to project behavior into other spheres of life. Due to its competitive nature, football offers a platform for the employment of a variety of unethical behaviors. Although deliberate time-wasting is against the rules, it is rarely, if ever, enforced by the referees. Such conditions create an environment in which individuals receive huge incentives to act dishonestly while facing minimal risks and costs. By analyzing the amount of time passed from the action that caused the ball to go out of play until the action that sent the ball back into play during all the matches of the 2014–15 season of the English Premier League, we were able to assess the extent of time-wasting. Results showed that leading teams during the final minutes of matches when scores were close spent almost twice more time tacking goal-kicks and free-kicks after offside, they were also significantly slower (p < 0.01) at taking throw-ins and free-kicks after foul.

Keywords: Ethics; Dishonesty; Football; Time-wasting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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