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FIFA rules out changes to playing time ahead of 2022 World Cup

2:14 AM SGT 7/4/22
Gianni Infantino
Reports have claimed that new powers to add stoppage time may be afforded to referees for the tournament

FIFA has denied it is considering altering its calculation of playing and stoppage times prior to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Widespread media reports had suggested that the governing body might make changes in order to ensure fans get to see the ball in play more often.

But if such a decision is in the pipeline, FIFA insists it will not be introduced before the finals kick off.

What was said?

"Following some reports and rumours spread today, FIFA would like to clarify that there will be no changes to the rules regarding the length of football matches for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 or any other competition," the organisation indicated on its official Twitter account.

The bigger picture

According to a report in Corriere dello Sport, FIFA chief Gianni Infantino had been considering extending games up to 100 minutes or longer in order to force more action.

The rumoured new measures would include giving referees more power to enforce longer stoppage time, which at the current time is restricted primarily to injuries, VAR checks and other significant delays.

Studies have concluded that while a football match lasts 90 minutes, the ball spends much less time in play.

The CIES Football Observatory found that the average time in play for a Champions League match is only 60.2 per cent, while it is not uncommon for a game to be in motion for just 45 minutes, or half, of the full 90.

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