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Explained: Why World Cup 2022 games have had so much added time

8:00 pm AEDT 22/11/22
England Iran stoppage time
There are a lot of unusual aspects to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but one on-field quirk has stood out so far: the long stoppage times.
  • Qatar 2022 breaking World Cup added time records
  • Long stoppage times in all three matches of day two
  • It is a result of new policy by FIFA

WHAT HAPPENED? All three games taking place on the second day of the tournament had long periods of time added on. England's 6-2 win against Iran had almost 30 minutes of stoppage time across both halves because of head injuries to goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand and defender Harry Maguire, and a long VAR check. The Netherlands benefited from a total of eight minutes being added to the second half of their win against Senegal as they scored a second goal right at the death. Then, the match between the USA and Wales went on for nine extra minutes because of stoppages in the second half.

GameAdded time
England vs Iran26 minutes
Senegal vs Netherlands8 minutes
USMNT vs Wales9 minutes

Why has World Cup 2022 had so much added time?

Refereeing legend and chairman of FIFA's referees committee, Pierluigi Collina, has shed some light on why it will be a regular feature of this tournament, telling ESPN: "We told everybody to not 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 [2018] 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."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Collina's comments suggests that long spells of injury time will be a common feature at this year's tournament and will ensure there is more time with the ball actually being in play.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

DID YOU KNOW? The four single halves with the most stoppage time on record (since 1966) in a single World Cup game all occurred on Monday. The first half of England and Iran's clash had 14 minutes and eight seconds, while the second had 13 minutes and eight seconds.

United States against Wales had 10 minutes and 34 seconds at the end of the second half, just a bit more than the final period of the match between Senegal and Netherlands at 10 minutes and three seconds.