The 100-minute game: addressing FIFA’s directive change on added time

What at first was a curious anecdote of the opening games quickly became a trait of the World Cup. The added time, often extending into the double figures at the end of matches and almost always making it into double figures taking into account the added time from both halves, means it is rare a game finishes within two hours these days.

Followers of La Liga will be aware of similar practices in Spain, although the directive has not been implemented with such force domestically. Frustrated with the amount of time-wasting and actual football being lost to delays, iconic referee Pierluigi Collina and his committee decided to take action on the matter.

Their solution is to add on all, or much of the time wasted to the end of the matches. That includes during substitutions and goal celebrations.

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There is definitely a debate to be had. Studies of several of the major leagues in European football show that the ball is often in play for less than two thirds of the match, robbing fans of football, as teams attempt to control as many of the variables.

The directive does seek to address this, but it is worth wondering whether it does so in the right way. Frequently discussions about major changes to football have centred around making the game more entertaining and perhaps even shorter, as football competes with other sports for the world’s attention.

Those suggestions are hotly contested as it is, but few are likely to want games to be extended beyond their current length. While the matches may get back the time they lose during the 90 minutes, it also does not address the issue itself, but accepts the premise that time-wasting will occur one way or another.

With footballers comfortable in the knowledge that time-wasting is taken account for, it might even lead to the rhythm of the game being broken up more.

Along with the introduction of VAR, the fluidity of football is being attacked almost as much as the timing of the game is. It also leads some to wonder if, as football extends out into longer games like those of their US competitors, the game is close to seeing in-game advertising more frequently too.

Tags 2022 World Cup FIFA
La Liga - Club News