A Bolton-based law firm has fired a warning that the football European Championships could lead to a rise in domestic abuse in the coming weeks.

The tournament kicks off in Germany on Friday night with England's first match taking place on Sunday night against Serbia.

Ellise Taylor, a graduate paralegal in AFG's family team, says victims in abusive relationships could suffer devastating consequences during the competition.

She said: “Often overlooked in the midst of the excitement of the games is the link between domestic abuse and football games."

Research by the University of Central Lancashire identified that domestic abuse incidents increased by 38 per cent when England lose a football match and are 26 per cent higher following a win or a draw.

Incidents are also increased by 11 per cent on the following day after the football game.

Ellise added: “These are truly shocking statistics, and we at AFG are keen to offer guidance and advice for anyone who finds themselves in these circumstances."

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial control, controlling and coercive behaviour and psychological abuse.

AFG head of family law, Emma Cordock, said: "If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please do not suffer in silence.

"Help is available for anyone who is suffering abuse at home, from family or within relationships.

"At AFG, we can assist by offering a free consultation, in which a solicitor will contact you to discuss your circumstances to advise whether there is merit in making an application to the court for a non-molestation order, which can protect you and any associated children from abuse or harassment."

Legal aid can be available to support victims in making an application for a non-molestation order, subject to a means test.

Women’s Aid, a charity that works to end domestic abuse against women and children, has established a campaign named Football United Against Domestic Abuse.

This campaign aims to work towards ending the behaviours and attitudes of some fans which underpin domestic abuse, particularly towards women.

Women’s Aid work with football organisations such as the Professional Footballers Association to raise funds and awareness to unite players, clubs and fans against these harmful attitudes. For more information visit womensaid.org.uk.

If you are in immediate danger contact police on 999.