Modelling home advantage in soccer without fans
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The occmTence of COVID-19 in 2020, midway through the 2019/2020 soccer season brought rise to the stop and re-emergence of the English Football League. The re-emergence brought with it a new aspect in that football matches were being played but 'behind closed doors ' in that no fans were allowed into the venue- because of the COVID-19 safety restrictions, the absence of fans in the stands to suppOii their teams provided a niche for the study below. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect between crowd presence and its relationship to Home Advantage, comparison between games when fans were present (pre-covid) and matches without t~1ns (post-covid). The study was guided by research objectives that were seeking to identify the relationship between crowd presence and home advantage whether if present and significant towards the outcome of a soccer match and the et!ect of yellow cards and reel cards on the outcome of a game. Tl1e study population consisted of 6 leagues: German Bundesliga, the Spanish Ia Liga Santander, the Italian Serie A, the French Ligue, the English Premier League and the English Championship. The quantitative secondary data was collected from a published website on shots, yellow cards, red cards and attendance. Regression analysis is used in data analysis with the application of R-studio . The study established that football matches played post-COVID period show that fan presence does not have a significant effect on the outcome of a game as previously thought. Yellow and reel cards are seen to hold greater impact on the home games without fan presence. Based on the findings of the study referees need more help and suppOii instead of admonishment in their decision making. What is deemed to be fairer by the crowd should not be treated with such great impmiance, to a point where trained referees ' decisions are not supported. There is also need for further analysis with more data as the study was clone with limited data and hence there might be room for further learning. The phenomena of home advantage is seen to continue eluding researchers with its exact causality not yet identified as observed in this p2per that it is not crowd presence.