Men showing off during football matches?

Men participating in games of football may be showing off by 'staging themselves', new research has suggested. A study from Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) showed that interruptions during male matches last significantly longer than during female ties.

It was found that while women tend to carry on quickly when play breaks up - such as for a substitution or an injury - men will often 'milk' the moment and make it last longer.

Professor Martin Lames, Sports Scientist at TUM, said: "For men the thought of staging themselves is much more pronounced than for women, where the game itself is obviously paramount."

Play-acting, protesting and 'putting on a show' are themes seen more often in matches contested by men than they are in female competitions, the investigation concluded.

Dr Roger Kingerlee, Chartered Psychologist, said: "British folklore suggests - with 'Manflu' as the prime example - that men sometimes seem to make a meal of minor things in life.

"This German study blows the whistle on such male grandstanding, the drivers of which are likely to involve cultural, evolutionary and social factors. It would be fascinating, too, to see if and how this behavioural difference between the sexes applies internationally, as one might predict." 

Women's football is currently in the headlines, with the Fifa Women's World Cup taking place in Germany - featuring female players from England, Germany, France and Mexico, among others.