World Cup: FIFA to explore lengthening stoppage time, possibly extending matches to 100 minutes, per report

DOHA, QATAR - MARCH 31: FIFA President Gianni Infantino addresses the 72nd FIFA Congress at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center on March 31, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Over the next few months FIFA intends to look into the possibility of more lenient stoppage time, according to Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport. Last week the paper reports that FIFA head Gianni Infantino met the chairman of the FIFA referees committee, Pierluigi Collina, in Doha and that they are considering some new options as the World Cup approaches. Their priority, they say, is improving the quality of the matches. One of the historical issues of soccer is something called effective playing time. Because soccer’s clock never stops, most matches have a limited effective playing time compared to the real duration of the game. According to a 2001 CIES study, for example, Italian Serie A has 63.2% of game time actually played out of the actual 90 minutes, so the ball is in play for only a little under an hour of the 90-minute match.

One of the new regulations that could be introduced later this year at the Qatar World Cup is to give more power and freedom to the referees to make stoppage times longer. Currently soccer stoppage times in the second half usually last between three and five minutes, extending longer only if there has been a significant delay during the match for some reason.


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