Premier League referees will NOT follow FIFA’s new stoppage time mantra
EXCLUSIVE: Premier League referees will NOT follow FIFA’s new stoppage time mantra when domestic football returns after some World Cup matches have lasted nearly two hours
The Premier League will ignore FIFA’s new ultra-strict edict on stoppage time when it resumes after the World Cup.
Sportsmail has learned that several referees were surprised by the amount of time that was added in Qatar. And they have sought clarification from Professional Game Match Officials Limited on whether they will be required to do the same.
FIFA refereeing chief Pierluigi Collina has made it clear that referees must add all “unnatural lost time” at the end of each half, which has led to unusually long matches.
The World Cup in Qatar has seen some unusually long games after stoppage time
It comes after FIFA refereeing chief Pierluigi Collina told refs to add ‘all unnatural lost time’
England’s victory over Iran lasted 117 minutes, while the average length of matches over the first four days has been 102 minutes and 42 seconds, four minutes longer than the Premier League average this season.
During discussions with the national referees, PGMOL assured them that they will not be required to do the same, and will instead be required to encourage players to continue with the game, as well as delay their clock reset until the game has started after a break.
The Premier League approach will be welcomed by the players, who have raised concerns about the increase in injuries and fatigue caused by longer matches. The international players union Fifpro is also monitoring the situation.
“If the effective playing time increases by 10 to 15 percent, this substantially increases the physical competition time of the players,” said Fifpro general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann. “More than anything, it underscores again how critical workload protection is for gamers. It has to be established now.
England’s opening match against Iran stretched to almost two hours after a long break.
While FIFA controls World Cup arbitration, any changes to the laws globally go through the IFAB, made up of four FIFA representatives and one from each of the four home nations.
Last month, the IFAB rejected plans for an NFL-style system, in which games are reduced to 60 minutes of effective playing time and the clock is stopped when the ball goes out of play.
Several Premier League referees have privately speculated that the World Cup refereeing is an attempt by FIFA to introduce 60-minute matches through the back door.