Why is so much time being added to the 2022 World Cup?
On day two of the 2022 World Cup, the referees added a total of 59 extra minutes to the three matches as FIFA tries to make up for the lack of time the ball is in play during the tournament.
That trend continued through the intervening matches, with some umpires adding massive amounts of time to make up for the ball being out of play.
Indeed, England’s match against Iran lasted 29 minutes, although much of that time was due to Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand spending a long time injured in the first half. The game also had eight goals, including a VAR check for a penalty – one reason why so much time was added.
However, with the precedent set, more and more time was added in both the Netherlands versus Senegal and Wales versus the US. Indeed, the former had 14 extra minutes, while the latter had 16 extra many 60 seconds.
However, those games do not give so clear reasons why so much time has been added to them. After all, only two goals were scored in either game, neither of which had a player suffering from an injury that kept them in the game for a long time.
So, why is so much time being added to the 2022 World Cup?
Well, ahead of the kick-off of the tournament, the President of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina, warned the players to prepare for much longer stoppage time in matches to make up for lost time in each half.
“Celebrations can last a minute or a minute and a half,” he said. “It’s easy to lose three, four or five minutes and you have to make up for that at the end.
“We want to prevent matches from playing actively for 40-45 minutes. This is unacceptable.”
Consequently, this time-wasting restriction is a welcome change from FIFA, with the organization making a concerted effort to give fans the full spectacle they paid for – in other words, as close to 90 minutes of play as possible.
Games therefore last longer than 100 minutes for this reason and will continue to do so for the rest of the tournament.
Collina also referred back to the 2018 World Cup, suggesting that an effort was made then to ensure that more time was added at the end of each half.
“What we already did in Russia was calculate the time to be compensated more accurately. We told everyone not to be surprised if they see the fourth official lift the electronic board with a large number on it, six, seven or eight minutes.
“If you want more active time, we have to be willing to see this kind of extra time. Think of a game with three goals. A celebration normally lasts one, one and a half minutes, so with three goals you lose five or six minutes.
“What we want to do is accurately calculate the added time at the end of each half. It may be the fourth official to do that, we were successful in Russia and we expect the same in Qatar.”
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