additional time at the heart of the debates

Long before the start of this World Cup in Qatar, additional time was already at the heart of the discussions. Gianni Infantino, the current FIFA president, had only admitted one “true reflection on effective time” had to take place. Relaunched by Be in sports on the subject, the boss of world football had mentioned additional time as a possible solution: “the additional minutes that the referee should give minutes really in relation to the time lost during the match, you have to think about the future. »

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Last week, Pierluigi Collina, for his part, had also expressed the wish that the additional time be respected and played to the end. “We will ensure that the referees make up for the minutes lost as best as possible with the aim of increasing the effective playing time. We want to avoid matches with 42, 43, 44 minutes of effective time. So the times of substitutions, penalties, celebrations, medical care or of course VAR, will have to be compensated. appointed the Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee.

Several records fell during England v Iran

It seems to have been heard as evidenced by the numbers (see below). It must be said that this Monday, the meetings seemed to drag on. The confrontation between Senegal and the Netherlands (2-0) ended in the 90th+11 while the United States and Wales (1-1) played until the 90th+9 . But the prize goes to the meeting between England and Iran (6-2). The two teams even set a new record by playing no less than 117 minutes and 16 seconds at Khalifa Stadium. This is the longest game at a World Cup, excluding overtime, since 1966 when Opta started recording added time.

This is explained in particular by the injury of the Iranian goalkeeper, after a head-to-head clash with one of his teammates in the first period, which required the intervention of the trainers and the temporary cessation of the match for long minutes. Despite this, the 14 minutes of extra time at the end of the first act surprised many observers. Worse, while the second half was not the scene of long stoppages, the referees still added 10 minutes at the end of regulation time. At the end of additional time, the Brazilian referee, Raphael Clausa, had to appeal to the VAR to confirm a penalty in favor of the Iranian selection, which extended the match for a few additional minutes. Mehdi Taremi also scored the latest in the World Cup, excluding extra time, by converting his penalty (90th + 13).

65 minutes of additional time since the start of the competition

If we add to that the inaugural meeting between Qatar and Ecuador (2-0), there are staggering figures which lead to FIFA’s new policy concerning the effective playing time of a meeting. But in addition to the nascent controversy, there is a real debate behind these figures. However, before going too far, it will already be necessary to see if such a measure can be maintained throughout the competition. Despite the criticisms made by many observers, this measure could at least avoid many frustrating time savings for both the show and the supporters.

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