World Cup: Why is there so much injury time at Qatar 2022?

There were an extra 27 minutes injury time played during England’s opening Group B clash with Iran

Jamie Gardner
Tuesday 22 November 2022 14:22 GMT
Retired referee Pierluigi Collina explains new VAR rules at World Cup

The opening matches of World Cup 2022 have seen far more added time than normal after Fifa’s pre-tournament instruction to maximise playing time and cut out time-wasting.

England’s match against Iran featured an incredible 27 minutes of injury time, with the serious head injury suffered by Iranian goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand accounting for a decent chunk of it.

Nine minutes were added at the end of the Wales vs United States match, with eight added at the end of the second half of the Senegal v Netherlands match.

Fifa is making a concerted effort to clamp down on wasted time at these finals, as it did at Russia in 2018.

Pierluigi Collina, the Italian who chairs Fifa’s referees committee, said last Friday: “We recommended our referees to be very accurate in calculating the time to be added at the end of each half to compensate the time lost.

“What we want to avoid is matches lasting 42, 43, 44, 45 minutes of active play. This is unacceptable. Whenever there will be an incident like an injury treatment, substitution slot, a penalty kick, a red card, a celebration of a goal…

“A celebration may last one, one and a half minutes, so imagine in a half there are two or three goals scored, so it’s easy to lose three, four, five minutes just for goal celebrations. This time has to be considered and compensated at the end.

“And of course, the time lost to VAR intervention by the way.”

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