- No, you’re not imagining it: FIFA World Cup 2022 matches are taking longer than usual.
- England beat Iran in a record 117 minute match last week.
- From timeouts to injuries, here’s why fans are seeing longer games.
So far, a total of more than three hours of stoppage time has been added to matches at this World Cup, a tally that equates to more than two extra games of football for fans.
England fans hungry for milestones to celebrate can now lay claim to winning the longest match ever played at a World Cup, after The 6-2 in a game that ran for almost two hours.
Tuesday’s match clocked in at a whopping 117 minutes and 16 seconds, with 14 minutes and eight seconds of time added to the first half after a head injury to Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand, and 13 minutes and eight seconds played at the end of the second half . .
There was a long delay in the first half of the England v Iran World Cup match as Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand was assessed after he and a teammate collided heavily. Source: Getty / Clive Brunskill
This is why we are seeing longer matches than usual.
‘Unacceptable’: What did FIFA say about the length of the match?
FIFA has made it clear to players and fans that match time at the Qatar World Cup will be extended to account for these delays.
The stadium scoreboard indicates 14 minutes of added time at the end of the first half in the England v Iran World Cup game. Source: Getty / Martin Rickett/PA Wire
With goal celebrations lasting as long as one and a half minutes, it is “easy to lose three, four or five minutes, and this has to be made up at the end”, said Pierluigi Collina, president of FIFA’s referees’ commission, before the tournament has started. .
“Think about it: if you have three goals in a half, you’re probably going to lose four or five minutes in total because of celebrations and the restart.”
Mitch Duke (centre) celebrates scoring for Australia against Tunisia in their World Cup match on Saturday. FIFA directs that time spent celebrating goals be added to stoppage time. Source: Getty / Robert Cianflone
Mr Collina said the purpose of more accurately calculating stoppage time was to “offer more spectacle to those watching the World Cup”.
“What we want to avoid are matches lasting 42, 43, 44, 45 minutes of active play. This is unacceptable.”