Football games have supposedly been cut short from their customary 90 minutes in length in the past to cater to a younger audience accustomed to quickly consuming information.
But at the 2022 World Cup, spectators will witness games that have grown significantly longer.
Throughout games in Qatar, we have observed fourth officials lifting their electronic boards to indicate after far longer than the customary four or five minutes.
Stoppage time and lots of it
The minimum is frequently seven or eight minutes. Over 10 minutes have already been added on a couple of occasions.
Consequently, only three of the tournament’s first twelve games lasted fewer than 100 minutes.
With 14 minutes and 8 seconds added at the end of the first half and another 13 minutes and 8 seconds added at the end of the second, England’s 6-2 victory over Iran lasted a total of 117 minutes and 16 seconds.
That was partially due to an injury. Iran’s Alireza Beiranvand, the goalie, had a concussion following a horrific head collision early on.
4 – The four single halves with the most stoppage time on record (since 1966) in a single #WorldCup match have all been today:#ENGIRN 1st half (14:08)#ENGIRN 2nd half (13:08)#USAWAL 2nd half (10:34)#SENNED 2nd half (10:03)
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 21, 2022
A total of 14 minutes and 34 seconds were added to the 1-1 draw between Wales and the United States. 12 minutes and 49 seconds were added to the Netherlands’ 2-0 victory over Senegal. Ten minutes and 18 seconds were added to Ecuador’s 2-0 victory against tournament host Qatar.
The pattern persisted in the opening match of Tuesday, as Saudi Arabia’s shocking victory against Argentina required six minutes of first-half stoppage time and nearly 14 minutes more after the second half.
Here are matches with an added stoppage time
- Qatar vs Ecuador: 100 min 18 sec
- England vs Iran: 117 min 16 sec
- Senegal vs Netherlands: 102 min 49 sec
- USA vs Wales: 104 min 34 sec
- Argentina vs Saudi Arabia: 110 min 12 sec
- Denmark vs Tunisia: 102 min 15 sec
- Mexico vs Poland: 99 min 24 sec
- France vs Australia: 103 min 28 sec
- Morocco vs Croatia: 99 min 10 sec
- Germany vs Japan: 104 min 23 sec
- Spain vs Costa Rica: 104 min 43 sec
- Belgium vs Canada: 99 min 10 sec
FIFA explains longer stoppage time at World Cup
However, FIFA, the organization that oversees the sport, is attempting to combat perceived time-wasting by reclaiming time lost for celebrations after goals, injuries, video assistant referee (VAR) evaluations, and substitutes.
The renowned former referee and current chairman of FIFA’s referees’ committee, Pierluigi Collina, warned spectators to anticipate games lasting longer than 100 minutes with extra time of more than “seven or eight minutes.”
At a press conference, Collina stated, “This is nothing new. (At the most recent World Cup in Russia), the fourth official showing the board with seven, eight, or nine minutes remaining became standard.”
“We advised our referees to be quite precise when figuring the amount of time that should be added at the end of each half to make up for time lost due to a particular incident.”
“A match with 42, 43, 44, or 45 minutes of active play is what we want to avoid. This cannot be tolerated.”
“An incident, whether it be an injury treatment, substitution slot, penalty kick, red card, or goal celebration, could last for one or one and a half minutes. For the opposing team, it might not be as joyful.”
“Therefore, losing five or six minutes is simple if three goals are scored in half. This team needs to be compensated at the end.”