- There has been lots, and lots, of stoppage time added to Qatar World Cup matches so far.
- In just six games, there has been a total of almost 90 minutes — a full match — added on.
- The excess time has been a result of injuries and new guidance for referees.
The World Cup has already seen more than 85 minutes added in stoppage time in just six games, thanks to injuries and new FIFA guidance
If you've watched any of the matches at this year's World Cup in Qatar, chances are you were watching it for far longer than the usual 90 minutes.
In just six matches at the tournament so far, there has been a total of almost 90 minutes of added time.
England's 6-2 win over Iran on Monday lasted an incredible 117 minutes and 16 seconds, while Saudi Arabia's shocking 2-1 victory over Argentina on Tuesday lasted 111 minutes.
A large proportion of the added time in both of those games can be accounted for by serious head injuries to Iran's Beiranvand and Saudi Arabia's Yasir Al-Shahrani.
However, the rest of the excess time – as well as that in the tournament's other four games – can be attributed to new guidance for officials, introduced by FIFA in an attempt to more accurately monitor the amount of time games are stopped for.
Pierluigi Collina, the chairman of FIFA's referees committee, confirmed last week that fourth officials had been instructed to keep exact track of time lost during the games in Qatar.
This includes monitoring stoppages for injuries, video assistant referee (VAR) decisions, substitutions, penalties, red cards, time wasting by players, and even goal celebrations.
"In Russia, we tried to be more accurate in compensating for time lost during games, and that's why you saw six, seven or even eight minutes added on," said Collina.
"Think about it: If you have three goals in a half, you'll probably lose four or five minutes in total to celebrations and the restart."
The new guidance for officials has led to a number of records already being broken in Qatar.
Four matches on Monday and Tuesday broke the World Cup record for the most time added in a single half of soccer. England's match versus Iran had 13 minutes and 59 seconds added at the end of the first half and 13 minutes and five seconds at the end of the second.
The second half of Argentina's loss to Saudi Arabia had 13 minutes and 53 seconds added; USA's draw with Wales had 10 minutes and 32 seconds added at the end the second period; and 10 minutes and three seconds were added to the end of the match between Netherlands and Senegal.
Against England, Iran's Mehdi Taremi's also scored the latest World Cup goal ever, as he netted from the penalty spot with 102 minutes on the clock.
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