Most of the games over the first couple of days of the 2022 FIFA World Cup turned out to be rather dull, but one thing that did stand out was the amount of injury time that was added on in the fixtures.
The England-Iran game was the best example, although much of that was down to the Iranian goalkeeper suffering a head injury in the first half. Still, there would 29 minutes added on in that one, while 14 minutes would be tagged on in Netherlands-Senegal over the two halves. In the Wales-USA game, it was a total of 16 minutes.
There have been 𝟓𝟗 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐮𝐭𝐞𝐬 of added time across the three World Cup games today. 😳
England v Iran: 𝟐𝟗 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐬
Senegal v Netherlands: 𝟏𝟒 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐬
USA v Wales: 𝟏𝟔 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐬 pic.twitter.com/i6SfUeFAhc
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) November 21, 2022
The nine minutes of added time at the end of the Welsh game was a bit odd, as the second half had been a fairly free-flowing affair.
It certainly raised some eyebrows at the time.
The injury time has been ridiculous at this World Cup so far
— Phil Egan (@philegansport) November 21, 2022
9 minutes of stoppage time? There was 14 earlier in the England Match. What’s the story with it all
— Liam Aherne (@laherne84) November 21, 2022
Additional time in these games 🤷♂️
— Alan Cawley (@alancaw) November 21, 2022
As it turns out, this was something that we should have been expecting.
Large amounts of additional in 2022 FIFA World Cup explained
FIFA have been attempting to stamp out time wasting in advance of this tournament, meaning that time keeping for the event has been taken very seriously.
Legendary Italian referee Pierluigi Collina, who is now the chairman of the FIFA referees committee, warned us about this very issue last week.
Speaking to ESPN ahead of the tournament, he said that we could expect longer periods of injury time in Qatar as they began to account for stoppages such a goal celebrations and other aspects of the game.
What we already did in Russia  was to more accurately calculate the time to be compensated.
We told everybody to don’t be surprised if they see the fourth official raising the electronic board with a big number on it, six, seven or eight minutes.
If you want more active time, we need to be ready to see this kind of additional time given. Think of a match with three goals scored. A celebration normally takes one, one and a half minutes, so with three goals scored, you lose five or six minutes.
What we want to do is accurately calculate the added time at the end of each half. It can be the fourth official to do that, we were successful in Russia and we expect the same in Qatar.
I am not talking about VAR intervention, this is something which is different and calculated by the Video Assistant Referee in a very precise way.
Even at the time I was a referee, the info [on added time] came from the fourth official, you are too much focused on what’s going on that it’s possible not to consider something. It’s the fourth official who usually proposes the amount of added time and the referee tends to decide…and decides.
This is interesting.
Time wasting has become an increasing issue in the club game, so it is encouraging to proper time keeping come into the game.
Still, it's going to take some getting used to over the weeks ahead.