At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, referees are adding extra time to games, Lots of it

Something unusual is taking place during the 2022 World Cup. Teams are playing more games. Much longer. A standard soccer game lasts 90 minutes, divided into two 45-minute halves. Unlike in basketball or football, the referee keeps track of time on the field and can add time for stoppages such as injuries, substitutions, and goal celebrations.

In previous World Cups, a referee may add three or four minutes to a half. But this World Cup is unique. The referee added 15 minutes to the first half of Monday’s England-Iran game (due to an injury to the Iranian goalie) and another 14 minutes to the second half.

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Referees are adding extra time to games. Lots of it.

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According to official match statistics, the Netherlands-Senegal game received 11 additional minutes in the second half. The referee added 11 minutes to the finish of the game between the United States and Wales. Argentina and Saudi Arabia went 14 minutes of time in the second half.

There is a purpose for these modifications. FIFA, the international soccer governing body, wants to ensure that every minute of competition is played on the field and not lost due to a delay. The World Cup is the most significant competition on the planet, said Pierluigi Collina, chairman of FIFA’s Referees Committee, at a press conference in Doha. We urged our referees to be extremely exact in estimating the time to be added at the conclusion of each half to compensate for time lost due to a certain type of event,” he said of the 129 match officials working the 64 World Cup games.

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This includes, according to Collina, extra time for injury care, substitutes, penalty kicks, red cards, and, especially, extended goal celebrations. Consider scoring two or three goals in a half. So it’s easy to waste three, four, or five minutes celebrating a goal. This time must be taken into account and compensated for in the end. Collina stated that they performed the same thing four years ago in Russia at the World Cup. However, stoppage periods have been increased in Qatar, resulting in games lasting longer and exciting till the very finish.

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