Facial structure predicts goals, fouls among World Cup soccer players

World Cup soccer players with higher facial-width-to-height ratios are more likely to commit fouls, score goals and make assists, according to a study by a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The structure of a soccer player’s face can predict his performance on the field—including his likelihood of scoring goals, making assists and committing fouls—according to a study led by a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The scientists studied the facial-width-to-height ratio (FHWR) of about 1,000 players from 32 countries who competed in the 2010 World Cup. The results, published in the journal Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, showed that midfielders, who play both offense and defense, and forwards, who lead the offense, with higher FWHRs were more likely to commit fouls. Forwards with higher FWHRs also were more likely to score goals or make assists.

“Previous research into facial structure of athletes has been primarily in the United States and Canada,” said Keith Welker, a postdoctoral researcher in CU-Boulder Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and the lead author of the paper. “No one had really looked at how facial-width-to-height ratio is associated with athletic performance by comparing people from across the world.”

FWHR is the distance between the cheekbones divided by the distance between the mid-brow and the upper lip. Past studies have shown that a high FWHR is associated with more aggressive behavior, with both positive and negative results. For example, high FWHR correlates with greater antisocial and unethical behavior, but it also correlates with greater success among CEOs and achievement drive among U.S. presidents. However, some previous research has failed to find a correlation between FWHR and aggressive behavior in certain populations.

The new study adds weight to the argument that FWHR does correlate with aggression. Welker and his colleagues chose to look at the 2010 World Cup because of the quality and quantity of the data available. “There are a lot of athletic data out there,” Welker said. “We were exploring contexts to look at aggressive behavior and found that the World Cup, which quantifies goals, fouls and assists, provides a multinational way of addressing whether facial structure produces this aggressive behavior and performance.”

Scientists have several ideas about how FWHR might be associated with aggression. One possibility is that it’s related to testosterone exposure earlier in life. Testosterone during puberty can affect a variety of physical traits, including bone density, muscle growth and cranial shape, Welker said.

Co-authors of the study were Stefan Goetz, Shyneth Galicia and Jordan Liphardt of Wayne State University in Michigan and Justin Carré of Nipissing University in Ontario, Canada. –

See more at: http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2014/11/11/facial-structure-predicts-goals-fouls-among-world-cup-soccer-players#sthash.mAvOP9oO.dpuf

Man trying to dribble soccer ball from Seattle to World Cup in Brazil is tragically killed by truck in Oregon




Richard Swanson, 42, planned to walk, soccer ball at his feet, from Seattle to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to make it in time for next year’s international soccer tournament. But Swanson was mowed down by a pickup truck Tuesday morning south of Lincoln City, Ore., only two weeks and a few hundred miles into his journey.

“It is with a heavy heart to notify you that Richard Swanson passed on this morning,” someone posted on his “Breakaway Brazil” Facebook page used to document the trek. “His team, family, friends, and loved ones will miss him and love him dearly. You made it to Brazil in our hearts, Richard. Team Richard.”

Described as an “avid runner, soccer player, and all-around lover of the Pacific Northwest,” Swanson planned to visit 11 countries during his one-year-plus trip south. Along the way, Swanson planned to dribble an “indestructible” soccer ball to promote the One World Futbol Project, a charity that donates such durable balls to people in disadvantaged communities. The ball was found among his belongings in the crash wreckage on U.S. Highway 101.

A graphic designer and former private investigator, Swanson said he was laid off but wanted to live his dream of attending a World Cup tournament. “All these pieces just started to come together in a way that — it almost felt that, it felt natural, it felt that I was doing what I should be doing, that this was my next leg in my life,” he said in a video about himself before he started.

Swanson was soliciting monetary donations and asking friends and people online to give him a couch to sleep on as he journeyed south. He documented the trek on Facebook and had a map on his website that tracked his movements via GPS. On Monday night, Swanson posted a photo of him relaxing in his Lincoln City host’s hot tub. The next morning, he posted a shot of a bacon, eggs and potatoes breakfast he described as “stick to your ribs … to keep me fueled as I head to Newport.”

The last GPS transmission Tuesday showed him traveling 2.8 miles per hour along the Oregon Coast Highway, about 20 miles north of Newport. Swanson leaves behind two sons, 18 and 22, both of whom posted remembrances to his page.

“We love you dad..with all our hearts!” Devin Swanson wrote. “You are a inspiration to all to continue doing what you love! One day..I will continue your journey in your name!”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more-sports/man-dribble-soccer-ball-brazil-killed-oregon-article-1.1344242#ixzz2TMwK2J7R

Thanks to Kebmodee for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

Chechen leader Kadyrov uses stadium public address system to insult a football referee during a match


When Terek Grozny captain Rizvan Utsyev was sent off on Sunday, Ramzan Kadyrov grabbed an announcer’s microphone and shouted: “You jerk!”

Mr Kadyrov later said sorry to fans but not to the official, insisting he deserved to be called corrupt.

The Russian Football Union is to hold a disciplinary hearing later this week.

Local media reported that Terek Grozny could be fined up to 500,000 roubles ($16,300) or forced to hold matches behind closed doors. Mr Kadyrov, who has ruled Chechnya since 2005, is an avid football fan and served as president of the club from 2004 until late 2011.

It was the 83rd minute of Sunday evening’s game between Terek Grozny and Tatarstan’s Rubin Kazan at the Akhmat-Arena when Fifa referee Mikhail Vilkov sent off Utsyev for a second yellow card.

The reaction from Mr Kadyrov was swift and furious. A voice boomed over the PA system exclaiming: “The referee’s been bought off! You jerk!”

The outburst triggered loud cheers from the Terek fans.

Later, Mr Kadyrov admitted he was responsible, writing on his Instagram account: “It was a terrible game because the referee was biased. He did everything possible to change the outcome of the match – didn’t award a [clear] penalty and gave Utsyev a second yellow.

“I apologise to the whole football world for what I said in the heat of the moment. But not to the referee, he deserved to be called corrupt.”

On Monday, the Chechen leader was still refusing to say sorry, declaring that however hard the punishment, Terek were “ready to accept it”.

“I had serious reasons to do this,” he told the RIA Novosti news agency.

“What is more, my grievances against the referee are not only about yesterday’s game.”

“The actions of the referee require careful investigation. We must not allow one man to spoil the whole game,” he added.

Former player Valery Reingold told the Sport-Express newspaper: “It’s a total disgrace to our game. If people at his level make such outrageous comments, then what should we expect from ordinary fans?”


Qatar Planning to Use Robot-Clouds to Keep Cool During 2022 FIFA World Cup


Qatar plans to implement UFO-style robot clouds which hover over stadiums to keep cool during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The bizarre solution is the brain-child of researchers at Qatar University who were trying to come up with a way of cooling temperatures.

Dr. Saud Ghani says the carbon fibre and solar panels would be around the size of a jumbo jet and automatically programmed to move as the sun moves in the sky

The helium gas-filled remote controlled clouds could then be used to hover over the stadium – lowering temperatures by 10 degrees.