Mexico's Rafael Marquez, right, watches as teammate Hector Moreno slide tackles the Netherlands' Arjen Robben during the World Cup match between the Netherlands and Mexico on Sunday, June 29, 2014, in Fortaleza, Brazil. The Netherlands won 2-1.

Do Soccer Teams Foul Based On International Relations?

We look at how fouls and penalties during World Cup games correlate to countries' views of one other.

Mexico's Rafael Marquez, right, watches as teammate Hector Moreno slide tackles the Netherlands' Arjen Robben during the World Cup match between the Netherlands and Mexico on Sunday, June 29, 2014, in Fortaleza, Brazil. The Netherlands won 2-1.

Mexico's Rafael Marquez, right, watches as teammate Hector Moreno slide tackles the Netherlands' Arjen Robben during the World Cup match between the Netherlands and Mexico on Sunday in Fortaleza, Brazil. The Netherlands won 2-1.

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From the perfect somersaults players can perform in search of a foul call to Colombia’s after-goal dance parties, the 2014 FIFA World Cup is about theatrics as much as it is about soccer. It’s also about patriotism and support for one’s country (looking at you, Diego Costa).

What factors cause those swan dives and on-field leapfrog games? Could diplomatic tensions between countries play a role?

[READ: What America Should Know About Soccer]

Using the BBC’s country ratings poll from June 2014, we compared a country’s opinion of its opponent to how many fouls the team committed and how many yellow cards it received in that match. (Mouse over bars on the charts below to see exact figures.)

In the graphs below, “Germany of U.S.” represents the views Germany holds of the United States' world influence, the fouls Germany committed or yellow cards it collected against the United States team and Germany's average fouls or yellow cards per match during the 2014 World Cup.



The BBC and its partners surveyed more than 24,000 adults in 24 countries to discover tensions between citizens of different countries. Respondents were asked if they thought each other country of the 24 had a mainly positive or mainly negative influence in the world. The results for each country are a list of every other country as well as the percentage of respondents that rated world influence negatively or positively. Germany was the most positively viewed country in the world, followed by Canada and the United Kingdom.