Pierluigi Collina, Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, said the reason for the rise in added time at the World Cup is that referees have been asked to calculate it more accurately.
The former referee added that the new recommendations have resulted in a considerable increase in playing time, which is close to one hour in matches held so far at the tournament.
“People want to watch football, more football. And we have been asked to do something about it for years,” Italian Collina said in an interview on FIFA’s website.
“The matter of matches lasting for even less than 50 minutes of active time is something that comes from quite a long time ago.
“So already in Russia (2018 World Cup), we asked referees to calculate the stoppage time more accurately to be given at the end of each half.
“And this recommendation was reiterated here, before Qatar 2022. A repeating order to offer more active time played during a match.”
France-Australia has seen the highest amount of playing time (67 minutes and 30 seconds).
The average amount of stoppage time in matches has risen to 10 minutes.
Collina said referees had been told that some specific incidents should be considered in an accurate way, particularly the timespan for injuries.
He said the instructions are that many injuries need more than one minute for treatment and should be reflected in the stoppage time.
Substitutions, VAR checks and goal celebrations are other factors that result in a loss of playing time and this is now being compensated for.
“The feedback has been positive, especially from the crowd in the stadium,” the 62-year-old Collina said.
“There haven’t been any negative reactions from the people I’ve met. I think it’s important to offer the spectators in attendance and those watching on television a good show and some good entertainment.”
Collina said the changes had resulted in an average of almost one hour of playing time.
“If we look back at Russia, the average amount of stoppage time was six and a half minutes,” Collina said.
“There was a maximum of six substitutions there compared to the 10 we have now and if we adapt that accordingly with the four extra substitutions, we can assume one extra minute.
“So we’ve gone from the equivalent of seven and a half minutes in Russia to 10 minutes in Qatar, which is not a dramatic change but it offers us the possibility to have an average of almost 59 minutes of actual playing time.
“We’re quite happy with this result.”
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