What about the home advantage after the COVID-19 pandemic?

Home teams traditionally win more matches than away ones. This is often explained by the support of local fans. Issue number 304 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post analyses the difference in the percentage of home wins before and after the COVID-19 pandemic in 63 leagues worldwide. It reveals that the home advantage persisted without spectators, even though in a less marked way.

From January 2015 to March 2020, home teams won 44.3% of matches in the leagues surveyed. After the outbreak of the pandemic and the closure of stadiums to the public, this figure went slightly down to 42.2%. To different extents, the percentage of home wins decreased in 41 of the 63 leagues studied. The average goal difference per match diminished from +0.32 to +0.24.

The greatest decrease in the percentage of home wins was recorded in the Greek top division (-15.1%), followed by the Austrian and German ones. At the opposite end, in the Swiss top-flight league, home teams won a significantly higher percentage of matches after the closure of stadiums to the public than before: +8.5%.

Home advantage before/after the COVID-19 pandemic

Leagues with at least 40 matches played after the pandemic (01/04/2020-24/08/2020). Comparative period: 01/01/2015-31/03/2020.