March 22, 2023

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IFAB does not want to introduce net playing time. It is recommended to add many minutes, like at the 2022 World Cup

A few clarifications in the rules.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has approved several clarifications to the rules. The main conclusion is that it seems that the organizations do not plan to introduce net playing time.

IFAB welcomed the main feature of the 2022 World Cup – the duration of the matches. Then an unusually many minutes were added to each half. IFAB recommends that this practice be used worldwide.

In Qatar, FIFA tried to increase playing time and deal with puffs

For the 2022 World Cup, FIFA introduced an additional fourth official and a strict control of lost time.

The tasks of the main reserve expanded, he became a full-fledged member of the referee team: he followed the game more and was responsible for his sections of the field (the whole team has a connection with each other, they consult).

The second reserve followed stoppage time. If earlier time was added conditionally, then in Qatar they switched to the actual calculation. In the past, the recommendations were as follows: conditionally, add a minute for an injury, 30 seconds for a replacement, in fact, compensate for the time spent watching a video replay.

The second reserve referee literally counts the seconds, after which he tells the team how much time has elapsed. Penalty and corner kicks, ball throws from out of bounds are not taken into account yet, but it cannot be ruled out that in the future these pauses will also be counted.

What are the advantages of pure playing time: no need to count added time, there will be no intentional delays

A bold experiment is being planned in the Netherlands. Starting from the 2023/24 season, the Dutch second division wants to introduce some unusual rules.

Let’s take a closer look at the net playing time – two halves of 30 minutes. This innovation is reinforced by the fact that in 2020 in the Champions League matches, on average, there were less than 60 minutes of playing time.

If Wenger is more worried about throwouts and substitutions, then net playing time is a rather old problem.

In April 2021, the FiveThirtyEight resource conducted a study based on two rounds of the 2018 World Cup. It turned out that the games were stopped every 58 seconds, on average, 6 minutes 59 seconds were added to two halves per match, although according to the calculations, 13:10 should have been.

According to FIFA rules, stoppage time is formed from the time spent on substitutions, assessing the condition of an injured player, disciplinary sanctions and any other reasons that provoke a long delay in time. We have dealt with the difficult question in detail in a separate text.

On the surface, there are two important advantages. First, changing the rule will solve the problem of counting stoppage time. Secondly, football says goodbye to intentional puffs.

Gianfranco Zola supports the idea: “Football changes too fast, but this innovation is good. A lot of teams are wasting time.” Petr Cech agrees: “We play 25 minutes in one half. We need change. There should be more football in football.”

Other IFAB findings: referees should explain VAR decisions, aggression towards officials should be reduced

The organization added a few clarifications.

• The IFAB has approved a decision whereby referees will explain VAR decisions to TV viewers and stadium visitors. The Club World Cup 2023 has already passed with this innovation – it seems that the officials liked everything. Now the judges will take up the microphone at the 2023 Youth World Cup in Indonesia. Then they will decide on other FIFA tournaments.

“We think it’s important from a transparency standpoint,” says IFAB board member Mark Bullingham. “Mostly for the spectators in the stadium who are not getting enough information about what is going on during decision making right now.”

How it worked at the Club World Cup: the referee would say a few short phrases that explained one or another decision of the VAR. From the stands it was difficult to make out the judge’s words, but everyone understood the general meaning.

• The use of semi-automatic offside detection technology was also considered successful. Recall that it is based on artificial intelligence and 12 cameras (frequency – 50 frames per second), including mobile ones, which are located on the sideline. Together with the neural network that determines the body parts of the players, they form a 3D picture of the episode and in controversial situations give a clear answer whether there is out of the game or not. The referees on the monitor see the field, the ball and the models of the players.