FIFA rules panel to debate more stoppage time in games

The 10-plus minutes of stoppage time that were a regular feature of games at the World Cup in Qatar are back on soccer’s agenda.

FIFA’s rule-making panel known as IFAB put additional time on the agenda published Wednesday for its annual meeting next month. Changes agreed on March 4 can take effect next season.

Talks are scheduled on “possible measures to create fairer conditions for both teams in terms of the amount of time available in a match, with a particular focus on a stricter calculation of additional time.”

The directive was part of a long-standing FIFA aim to create more active playing time on the field and give fans and viewers better value.

Games of 100 minutes became routine at the last World Cup as referees followed FIFA advice to add on more accurate amounts for stoppages due to goal celebrations, injuries, video reviews and substitutions.

It led to record-setting long games at the World Cup with a slew of stoppage-time additions of more than 10 minutes early in the tournament.

Though a head injury helped to cause 14-plus minutes of stoppage time in the first half of England-Iran, there were more than 13 minutes added to the second half of Saudi Arabia’s stunning 2-1 win over eventual champion Argentina.

The United States’ 1-1 draw with Wales on the second day of the tournament kicked off at 10 p.m. in Doha and finished the next day once almost 11 minutes were added to the second half.

Organizers such as individual domestic leagues have not followed FIFA’s example, though some said they were unwilling to change policy midseason and would revisit the subject in the offseason.

FIFA trials at the Club World Cup in Morocco of live broadcasts during video reviews of communications between match officials will also be discussed at the IFAB meeting in London.

Other subjects include allowing an extra substitute for teams when a player sustains a suspected concussion, though not the emergency temporary replacements requested by the global players’ union FIFPRO and some head injury experts.

The IFAB panel includes representative of FIFA and the four British soccer federations. The voting structure weighted toward FIFA means soccer’s world body can veto any proposal.




Arab Observer

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