Issue number 280 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post ranks teams from 35 European domestic leagues according to their number of fouls per game as per InStat data. Champions League titleholders Liverpool FC committed the least fouls per match so far this season (8.1). This is partially related to the less strict refereeing style in the English Premier League: 20.4 fouls whistled per game compared to an average of 27.2 in the 35 competitions surveyed.
Eight Premier League teams are in the top 18 positions of the rankings: Liverpool, Newcastle, Bournemouth, Leicester, Chelsea, Norwich, Tottenham and Manchester City. If we relate fouls committed to the average measured at league level, Hamburger SV heads the table (-32% of fouls with respect to rivals), ahead of Slovan Bratislava (-29%) and Shakhtar Donetsk (-27%). Vojvodina made the most fouls per match overall (22.9), while Zlaté Moravce committed the most compared to league rivals (+38%).
Per league, the lowest average number of fouls per game whistled by referees was recorded in the English Premier League (20.4), the Danish Superliga (21.0) and the Dutch Eredivisie (21.6). At the opposite end of the table are the top divisions of six Eastern European countries: Serbia (34.9), Bulgaria (31.6), Czech Republic (31.4), Romania (31.0), Poland (30.9) and Ukraine (30.5). For more exclusive analysis, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Fouls committed per game, season 2019 or 2019/20
Domestic league matches until 13/01/2020. Data: InStat.