A CHILLING poster has been released highlighting the links between high profile football matches and domestic violence.

The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) launched it’s ‘The Not-So-Beautiful Game’ campaign, as football fever sweeps the country.

The NCDV says domestic violence and the World Cup are closely linked.

Researchers at Lancaster University analysed figures from Lancashire Constabulary across three tournaments in 2002, 2006 and 2010, and found that reported incidents increased by 26 per cent if England plays, 38 per cent if England loses, and 11 per cent the next day win or lose.

They found that the average number of incidents of domestic violence on the days when England played was 79.3 compared with 58.2 on the days when the team did not play.

There was also evidence that incidents were high on the day following an England game, with an average of 70.5 reported cases, and the number of cases also rose whenever the England game was played on a weekend.

The researchers also found that reported domestic abuse incidents increased in frequency with each new tournament, from an average of 64 in 2002 rising to 99 in 2010.

To bring these stats to life in a dramatic way and remind the country that domestic violence has no place in society, J Walter Thompson has created a timely and reactive campaign.

Mark Groves, chief executive officer of NCDV, said: “We want to raise awareness of this issue, and to make sure people are aware that domestic violence is socially unacceptable.

“We may not succeed, it will probably take hundreds of years to get rid of domestic violence, and we’ve had lots of problems with government funding in recent years.

Mr Groves remains optimistic though and added: “There has been a lot of interest worldwide, from as far as Japan. What would be great is an England player coming forward to support this campaign.”

A police officer quoted in the report said: “The World Cup appears a reason for many to party, however delight and expectation can turn into despair and conflict with the kick of a ball.”

If you have any concerns regarding this issue, please phone 0207 186 8270 or 0800 970 2070 or text NCDV to 60777.