A Manchester divorce lawyer has warned football fans to pay attention to their partners during the World Cup – or face a receiving a red card in their relationship.
Manchester divorce and family lawyer Ros Bever said fans who spend too much time watching the tournament in Brazil could find themselves without a teammate come its conclusion in July.
Mr Bever’s firm, Irwin Mitchell, has witnessed a rise in divorce and separation agreement enquiries, and they anticipate a further increase in calls from neglected spouses.
In addition, it is feared that the whirl of emotions stirred up by the tournament – especially during England games – could cause a rise in the number of arguments in the home.
This comes after research by Greater Manchester Police and the North West Ambulance Service indicated that there could be a surge in domestic violence in Greater Manchester during the competition.
Mr Bever said: “It’s unlikely that people would get divorced just because of the football, but emotions run high during football matches and any little cracks that have been developing for a while may become wider as arguments escalate.
“Many people coming to us cite lack of attention, becoming detached and their partners not showing an interest in their life as important drivers for their separation and ultimately divorce.”
He also claims some fans end up spending their summer at the pub, or focused on the TV instead of their partners or families.
He said: “With the time difference in Brazil meaning many games will run long into the night it’s likely that many will be accompanied by extended drinking sessions either to celebrate or drown sorrows.”
The answer, he believes, is compromise – by fans and their partners.
“I would encourage football fans to think about the many existing pressures we exert on our relationships and compromise a little, perhaps by making a special effort to enjoy some quality time with their partners,” Mr Bever said.
“Their partners may want to try watching a match or two or arrange to see their other non-football obsessed friends instead.”
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