Matches at the World Cup in Qatar are running longer than ever before, thanks to officials being instructed to account for time-wasting and delays more precisely.
The four World Cup games with the most stoppage time since records began in 1966 all occurred on Monday, the second day of the competition, including an addition of 13 minutes and 8 seconds to England’s 6-2 victory over Iran in the second half.
Even more time was added to the first half—14 minutes and 8 seconds—but much of that was due to Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand’s head injury, for which he received two treatments before being replaced.
The second halves of the United States’ match against Wales and the Netherlands’ encounter with Senegal both had more than 10 minutes of added time, normally a rarity in football.
Pierluigi Collina, Fifa’s referees chief, said last week that soccer’s global governing body wanted to ensure as much playing time as possible and referees had been instructed to measure stoppages accurately.
He said the move was “nothing new” and it was common at the World Cup in Russia in 2018 for seven, eight or nine minutes to be added to the minimum 90.