In April, FIFA president Infantino explained: “There’s a lot of lost time in every match, something needs to be reviewed because spectators pay to watch 90 minutes of football, while matches last 50”

    61 minutes of added time indicated by the fourth official’s scoreboards (those played were more thanks to the added time) in the first four matches of the World Cup. In detail: 5 plus 5 in the opening match, Qatar-Ecuador; 14 plus 13 (yes, you read that right) in England-Iran; 2 plus 9 (yes, you read that right again) in Senegal-Netherlands; 4 plus 9 in US-Wales. It seems… another sport compared to what we are used to in Serie A (in our stadiums when the fourth official’s scoreboard indicates a recovery of more than 5-6 minutes there are protests or disbelief) and more generally in Europe. And instead it’s football in the Qatar 2022 version, a World Cup that by the will of President Infantino has some peculiarities such as the no to the ‘OneLove’ band, which some national teams wanted to wear in support of the rights of the LGBT community, and precisely… the maxi recoveries.

    spring background

    Last April, to tell the truth, Infantino anticipated what would happen in the first World Cup in the autumn of history. It happened during an interview with BeIN Sports in which he explained: “We need to reflect on the actual playing time. In every game there is a lot of time lost. Something needs to be reviewed because spectators pay to see 90 minutes of football, while the matches last 50 minutes. I’m not saying I’ll get to 100 minutes, but without a doubt the recovery time that the referee grants must be closely linked to the minutes lost during the match.” A way to say no to the effective time that has already come into force in other sports (basketball, rugby and American football, just to give three examples), but also to give a first glimpse of what would have happened in Qatar. It is no coincidence that the president of the Fifa referee commission, Pierluigi Collina, explained: “We want to avoid matches with 42 minutes of effective time”.


    Objectively, today’s 27 minutes of extra time between England and Iran caused a sensation: if the 14′ of the first half were justified by the serious head injury of Iranian goalkeeper Beiranvand, with a total stoppage of 12′ between treatments and restart of the game and new stop, the 13 minutes recovered in the second half have few explanations. Maguire took a hit on the head in a game clash, but the result was already largely archived. And the 10′ conceded, which became 13′ due to the penalty awarded to Iran, seemed like an exaggeration. Concerns also for the 13′ total of USA-Wales: the substitutions and the loss of time before Bale’s penalty were OK, but 9′ (which later became 11) only in the second half…