Has the ref’s watch stopped? Mystery of added time at World Cup solved
Fans confused over why Monday’s three World Cup matches ended with a combined 59 minutes of added time have new Fifa guidelines to thank.
The match between England and Iran alone lasted almost 30 minutes beyond the 90-minute mark, or the equivalent of the extra-time period in the knockout stage.
The time added in the first half was understandable, given the long stoppage needed to treat Iran goalkeeper Alireza Safar Beiranvand after he suffered a head injury with concussion.
However, in the second half, despite only a brief halt in play when England defender Harry Maguire got injured, another 13 minutes was added to the clock.
Fans scratching their heads got the explanation for the sudden increase in stoppage time from former Italian referee Pierluigi Collina, who now chairs the Fifa Referees Committee. Collina explained that Fifa is using a new system to calculate added time at the 2022 World Cup.
Under the new system, the match clock is stopped every time the ball goes out of play, during dead-ball situations, and for throw-ins, goal kicks, free kicks, substitutions, the referee checking VAR, and even goal celebrations.
All of these will result in time added to the match, Collina said.
The new guidelines are aimed to stop time-wasting by players and encourage the game to flow. Collina added that fans can expect to see at least 10 minutes of added time in every match.