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The reason why there is so much injury time at this World Cup

World Cup injury time.

We’re just over two days into the 2022 World Cup and fans are noticing that referees are adding a lot more injury time than usual.

While the 14 minutes added at the end of the first half of England’s victory over Iran was understandable – Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand had received lengthy treatment for concussion – the 10 minutes at the end of the second half left people a bit more perplexed.

Pierluigi Collina.

The other three games on the opening two days have seen totals of 10 minutes, 12 minutes and 14 minutes added on, and it’s all because of a clampdown by Fifa.

Pierluigi Collina, chairman of Fifa’s referee’s committee, is leading the crackdown on players time-wasting at this World Cup, insisting that all stoppages are accurately calculated and added to the end of each half of every game.

This includes treatment for injuries, goal celebrations, and anything else that may cause a referee to pause their stopwatch for a long period.

Injury time.

“What we already did in Russia [2018] was to more accurately calculate the time to be compensated,” said Collina, himself an iconic referee of the 1990s and 2000s, ahead of the 2022 edition of the World Cup.

“We told everybody to don’t be surprised if they see the fourth official raising the electronic board with a big number on it, six, seven or eight minutes.

“If you want more active time, we need to be ready to see this kind of additional time given. Think of a match with three goals scored. A celebration normally takes one, one and a half minutes, so with three goals scored, you lose five or six minutes.

“What we want to do is accurately calculate the added time at the end of each half. It can be the fourth official to do that, we were successful in Russia and we expect the same in Qatar.

VAR at World Cup.

“I am not talking about VAR intervention, this is something which is different and calculated by the Video Assistant Referee in a very precise way.

“Even at the time I was a referee, the info [on added time] came from the fourth official, you are too much focused on what’s going on that it’s possible not to consider something. It’s the fourth official who usually proposes the amount of added time and the referee tends to decide…and decides.”

So there you have it. While you might be used to a match lasting about 1 hour 45 minutes from kick-off to full-time, including the half-time break, it seems like games are heading towards two hours at this World Cup.

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