.- One of the virtues of football was the time limit, a condition that served, among other things, to plan advertising spaces, strategize on the pitch, or dose the physical work of the players.
At this point, football is very different from baseball, tennis, and volleyball, naming just three disciplines, explaining the famous Yogi Berra, the ex-New York Yankees hunter and the ‘philosopher’ of everyday life, whose games end when it’s over.
Back to the starting point, there are no longer 90 minutes of football matches. Forget about 45 minutes per fraction. There is much more that has obvious repercussions for players who have to stick to the 1st referee’s decisions.
Considering that it adds extra emotion to the games and thus to the series, there will of course be those who support the reruns of the men in black.
However, there are also those who are against these discount minutes, which in most cases seem endless.
And at the World Cup in Qatar, the debate on this issue could not be ignored.
In the first matches of the group stage, as in the match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia’s surprise pick, officials allegedly abused these additional times.
With the score behind 2-1 in the last minutes, the helpless albiceleste players tried to attack the goal defended by Mohammed Al-Owais, while the head referee, Slavko Vincic, from Slovenia, imposed his authority without even looking at the chronometer. Eight minutes of substitution and nothing happened, Arabs on the field and stands of the Lusail stadium hurled insults at the referee, until they finally… penalized that match.
100 minute matches
The famous Pierluigi Collina predicted this before the World Cup in Qatar. 100 minutes of matches and that’s what happened, referees extending the extra time beyond the 90 rules, sometimes leaving the images of the players at the limit of their power.
by an account BBCcaused the first five matches of the competition to be extended by 65 minutes. The most notorious was the England-Iran (6-2) match, which lasted over 117 minutes, 14 of which were announced at the end of the first half.
This extraordinary situation is partly explained by the fact that there were two cases where significant injuries occurred, one per period. In the first half, Iran’s goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand was hit in the head with his teammate and suffered a concussion.
But the other four games, Qatar-Ecuador, Senegal-Netherlands, Wales-United States, and the aforementioned Argentina-Saudi Arabia games also went over 100 minutes without major physical events.
The explanation should be sought in the words of Pierluigi Collina, chairman of the FIFA referees committee, who warned on Thursday 17 November that referees will be “very careful” to the actual playing time of the match.
“We want to avoid 42, 43 or 44 minutes of effective play. So we’ll have to make up the times for substitutions, penalties, celebrations, medical attention or of course VAR,” he said.
The ex-Italian referee said, “The celebrations (of the goals) can sometimes last 90 seconds. This time it must be compensated.”
a la carte cramps
While the intent is commendable, there are also points against it.
For example, at the end of the USA-Wales game last Monday, Qatari referee Abdulrahman Al-Jassim announced nine more minutes. During overtime, several players were treated for cramps, causing the referee to add extra time.
The second period lasted more than 55 minutes, with no serious injuries or VAR used and only one goal scored.
For former Belgian coach Marc Wilmots, such an extension of playing time could be dreadful.
“I saw the USA sinking against Wales. We couldn’t find their team anymore. It was the cramps, the injury issues and the players who were already on the edge that surprised me,” Wilmots told RTBF.
“The calendars are set to play 7 games in 28 days, there was no mention of overtime that could be 140 minutes if it continued like this, this is unsustainable,” he said.
Meanwhile, former British international Jamie Carragher enjoyed it. “I love the time that the World Cup referees add. There is a lot of time wasted in football,” he said.