Tuesday, November 29, 2022

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Premier League referees will NOT comply with FIFA’s new overtime mantra

The Premier League will ignore FIFA’s new ultra-tight stoppage-time edict if it resumes after the World Cup.

Sportsmail has learned that a number of referees were shocked at the extension of time in Qatar. And they have asked Professional Game Match Officials Limited for clarification on whether they are being asked to do the same.

FIFA chief referee Pierluigi Collina clarified that officials must add any “unnaturally lost times” at the end of each half, which has resulted in unusually long games.

England’s victory over Iran lasted 117 minutes, while the average playing time over the first four days was 102 minutes and 42 seconds, four minutes longer than the Premier League average this season.

During discussions with local referees, PGMOL has assured them that they will not be asked to follow suit, instead asking them to encourage players to continue playing the game, as well as to delay restarting their clock until the game ends after a break has started.

The Premier League’s approach has been welcomed by players, who have expressed concern about an increase in injuries and fatigue from longer games. The international players’ union Fifpro is also monitoring the situation.

“If the effective playing time is increased by 10 to 15 percent, this will significantly increase the players’ physical competition time,” said Fifpro Secretary General Jonas Baer-Hoffmann. “More than anything, it reaffirms the importance of workload protection for gamers. It needs to be set up now.’

While FIFA decides the World Cup referees, all changes in the law worldwide go through the IFAB, which is made up of four representatives from FIFA and one from each of the four home nations.

Last month, IFAB rejected plans for an NFL-style system that would reduce games to 60 minutes of effective play, with the clock stopping when the ball goes out of play.

Some Premier League referees have privately speculated that the World Cup administration is an attempt by FIFA to introduce 60-minute games through the back door.

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