Does facial width-to-height ratio predict Japanese professional football players’ athletic performance?
A number of studies have shown that facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR)—the distance between the two zygomatic arches (width) compared with the distance from the top of the lip to the bottom of the eyebrows (height)—is related to aggressive behavior and is reflective of testosterone levels. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between fWHR and the athletic performance of Japanese professional football players. Photographs of 343 Japanese professional football players were measured for fWHR and compared with the number of penalty cards (yellow and red) acquired by players and goals scored in the 2012 season. The results showed that fWHR was not associated with the number of goals scored in any football position. However, the number of penalty cards acquired was associated with fWHR in the forward offensive position. These findings showed that fWHR is not related to goals scored by Japanese football players, but is related to the penalty cards acquired in the offensive domain.