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Red cards have no impact after halftime, says study

Written by: Staff

BERLIN, June 7 (Reuters) Red cards that are handed out after half-time do not have a negative impact on the penalised team, according to a new study by the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin (DIW).

The study, based on data from all World Cup matches played between 1930 to 2002, investigates how the expulsion of a player influences the outcome of soccer matches.

''An early expulsion increases the winning probability of the non-affected team considerably,'' the study says. ''However, if the red card is given after half-time, its impact on the final outcome of the match can be disregarded.'' Recent examples of matches in which red-carded teams emerged victorious include Brazil's 2-1 victory over England in the 2002 World Cup after Ronaldinho was sent off in the 57th minute.

In 1990, Cameroon shocked Argentina 1-0 despite having two players red-carded in the second half. Italy defeated Norway four years later even though goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca was sent off in the 21st minute.

In the early days of the World Cup, red cards were extremely rare. In the five tournaments that took place between 1930 and 1954, an average of only one player per World Cup was sent off.

In the last four World Cups, an average of 14 players per tournament have received red cards -- partly a reflection of the increased number of teams and matches in the tournament.


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