Using data from the Montevideo Police Department from 2002 to 2010, which includes over 835,000 offences, the author finds that during high-importance matches (World Cup and World Cup qualifying matches) there is a reduction of 13 percent in property crimes, after controlling for holidays and weather conditions which have also been found to affect crime levels. There is no evidence of a significant increase in property crime before and after these high-importance matches. However, the matches are associated with a significant and sizeable increase in assaults.
The author suggests the decline in property crime is down to incapacitation , i.e. the criminals take time off to watch the match. However, the increase in concentration of individuals leads to a rise in potentially violent interactions that raises the level of assaults.
It's not clear from the paper whether Luiz Suarez's handball against Ghana in the 2010 World Cup quarter-final was included in the crime statistics.