It has taken only two days of football at the Qatar World Cup for the fans to notice an anomaly that has gripped the pundits and ignited an old debate.
The debate in question is ‘Time wasting’ in the game. In the past, many solutions have been proposed to keep track of the time wasted during throw ins, long kicks, video assistant referee (VAR), injuries, disputes, or corners but because of one reason or the other, the governing bodies of the game have allowed for it and kept the extra or the injury time added at the end of each half to a bare minimum.
But at the ongoing World Cup in Qatar, a magnanimous amount of stoppage time that each game has witnessed totally stumbled the fans.
The first four games of the tournament have seen a whopping 65 minutes added on between them, with the game between England and Iran going on for almost 118 minutes because of a serious injury below to Iranian goalkeeper, Alireza Beiranvand.
The Netherlands were able to seal their victory in the 99th minute with a second goal by Davy Klaassen, which was over and above the added time of eight minutes provided by the referees.
The Premier League or La Liga fans are used to four or five minutes of added time after the 90-minute mark and a nine or 10-minute addition is absurdly high, but that’s not the case at this World Cup.
The reason behind it is a stance taken by FIFA to tighten its grip on time-wasting by more precisely monitoring the time when the game is halted.
VARs, injuries, red cards, penalties, corners, and throw-ins are all responsible for the delay in the game, and the chairman of FIFA’s referee committee.
Pierluigi Collina couldn’t have chosen a better time to implement the scheme of more added minutes to prevent players from intentionally or unintentionally wasting time on the field.
In an interview earlier this year, Collina mentioned, “If you have three goals in a half, you’ll probably lose four or five minutes in total to celebrations and the restart. These things are functional to the game, but eight to nine minutes for throw-ins, eight to nine minutes for goal-kicks? If we’re going to be a bit more precise, we’ll have to prepare ourselves for a nine-minute injury time.”
Collina stresses the referees will accurately calculate the added time at the end of each half and successfully implement it during the game. And they informed beforehand the teams about such a situation.
Even though the intention of the refereeing committee is correct, it has surely ignited a debate on Twitter among football fans who have their own way of showing their dissent/acceptance of this recent development of extra stoppage time.
But what we know so far is that this fresh addition to the game will be seen throughout the tournament until the teams buckle up and stop taking the aspect of time wasting for granted.
The fans had much to say. Have a look: