With UEFA finally taking a stand, the debate over whether added time should be so high at the end of each Champions League game continues.
In the last nine months, FIFA pressured officials at both the men’s and women’s World Cups. They want games to run well beyond 90 minutes. In some cases, this surpassed 100 minutes on the field during regular time. FIFA requested all possible interruptions to the game, including replacements, injuries and other delays, go toward added time.
The president of the governing body, Gianni Infantino has given his approval of these rules. Given that the ball was in play for just 50–55 minutes every game, he also stressed the significance of providing better value for money to supporters.
Champions League reveals stance on added time rule
The sport’s rules-making body, IFAB, agrees with these suggestions and hopes that local tournaments will eventually adopt FIFA’s policies. Nonetheless, UEFA will act contrary to the norm.
Director of UEFA, Zvonimir Boban, said as much. He cited concerns for player safety as the primary factor in the organization’s decision to diverge from FIFA’s lead.
On Wednesday, UEFA argued that last season’s average “effective playing time” for games in its flagship Champions League was 60 minutes and 7 seconds. According to Boban, it was around five minutes longer than in Europe’s top leagues.
What did Zvonimir Boban say?
“It’s absolutely absurd. Regarding player welfare, it’s some kind of small tragedy or big tragedy because we are adding almost 12, 13, 14 minutes, which are very tough minutes to play,” he told The Times.
“I can speak from my experience, especially as a midfielder — when you get tired, it’s the last 30 minutes of the game. And then somebody comes and adds another 15, 12, 14 minutes of the game.
“How often we have spoken critically about the calendar and too many games? We are not listening to players and coaches. In England you know something even more than us because you have more games.
“And now we add to them, probably six, seven minutes more per game – over 65 games that is almost 500 minutes more per season. That is six games. It’s crazy. It’s too much so we will not do this. We will follow our guidelines.”
PHOTO: IMAGO / Action Pictures
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