Added time, a curiosity at the start of the World Cup.  The photo is from the archive, of course;  in Qatar more is added.  Photo: EFE/EPA/NOUSHAD THEKKAYIL.

At its inception, the Qatar World Cup He has not yet left great moments from the football expression. Apart from England’s 6 goals against Iran, the focus of attention for now is on the referee’s side. And not just because of the debut of the semi-automatic off-side. What made the most noise so far was the large number of minutes added, which led to games of 100 or more minutes being played.

Much has been said -and is still being talked about- about the amount of net time played in matches, which in several cases are cut, either with national teams or clubs. Between the fouls, the changes, and the time that the players do when their teams are winning, are situations that are on the radar of the FIFAwhich seeks to offer a better show.

Due to what happened in the first four games between Sunday and Monday, there is a policy of the mother house of soccer to comply with the maximum possible playing time. It is that these meetings far exceeded the regulatory barrier of 90 minutes.

The game that lasted the least of the first four of this World Cup was the initial one, played between Qatar and Ecuador. Said comparison reached 100 minutes of play, adding 5′ of aggregate in each stage.

Monday’s day began with an unusual event. In England-Iran they played 118 minutes, being the match with the highest total playing time at the moment. An injury to the Iranian goalkeeper in the first stage delayed the game actions and led the Brazilian judge Raphael Claus to choose to add 14 minutes.

In the supplement, meanwhile, another 10 more minutes were added, with the particularity that the match would not end until minute 104 due to the penalty in favor of Iran in the last of the 10 minutes added after the VAR review. That is to say that there was, after all, 28 minute addition between one time and another.

The second meeting of the day, between Senegal and the Netherlands, reached 102 minutes. In the first part, 120 seconds were added, while in the second, 9 minutes were added by the Brazilian judge Wilton Sampaio in the final part, instance of the match in which the Europeans got their second goal.

And in the last function of the day, which had Wales and the United States as protagonists, the total figure disputed was 103 minutes, the second longest. There, 4 minutes were added to the first part of the function and, as in the previous match, 9 minutes complemented the final 90 for the referee to blow the final whistle.

FIFA recommendation

So what about the minutes added in the World Cup? “We want to avoid matches with only 42 or 43 minutes of effective playing time. So we will have to compensate for the time of substitutions, penalties, celebrations, medical assistance or VAR,” said Pierluigi Collina, FIFA’s head of refereeing. And he added: “We have asked the referees to be very rigorous and to add everything that is needed to compensate for the loss of time.”

A few months ago it was rumored, as published by the Italian media Corriere dello Sport, that Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, had in mind that soccer matches would start to last 100 minutes and not the traditional 90 that they are used to in the world of soccer. And there was such a stir on social networks that FIFA issued a statement denying that situation.




Added time, a curiosity at the start of the World Cup. The photo is from the archive, of course; in Qatar more is added. Photo: EFE/EPA/NOUSHAD THEKKAYIL.

In any case, even though it has not been a stipulated rule, in Qatar they are watching matches that reach and even exceed 100 minutes of play, which is added to the clock, with the intention of increasing the effective time of play.

In purely football, what has attracted the most attention have been the discount minutes in the four games that have been held. There have been many, most of them excessive in the eyes of the fans regardless of the party we are talking about. And no, it has not been solely because of the VAR, which despite having intervened several times has not been the main protagonist of the matter.

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