The Qatar World Cup matches are witnessing the addition of an unprecedentedly long stoppage time, which has sparked a lot of controversy in the sports community about the dangers of this to the players in terms of health and mental health, according to the network.CNNnews.
The added minutes in some matches amounted to the equivalent of a full extra half (15 minutes), as the stoppage time in the opening match between Qatar and Ecuador reached 10 minutes, distributed between the first and second halves.
The extra time in the Iran-England match reached 24 minutes in a rare precedent, while the Netherlands and Senegal match had an additional ten minutes, while that time reached 15 minutes in the United States and Wales match.
The extra time counts for long minutes, in implementation of the “active play” rule approved by the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), with the aim of achieving justice on the field to add more fun to the world’s largest popular game.
The head of the FIFA Referees Committee, Italian Pierluigi Collina, explained that FIFA has been working to accurately calculate the time required to be compensated, since the World Cup finals that were held in Russia in 2018.
He added, “Everyone told us not to be surprised if they saw the fourth referee raising the electronic scoreboard with a large number of minutes of stoppage time on it.”
And he continued: “If we want a more lively game, we need to be ready to see this kind of extra time. For example, if three goals are scored in a match, it usually takes from a minute to a minute and a half to celebrate each goal. Three goals in the first half, that would waste five or six minutes of real time.”
“What we want to do is calculate extra time accurately at the end of each half,” he added.
“physical and mental exhaustion”
However, the referees’ award of extended injury times has led to mixed reactions from former players and sports experts.
The former England and Liverpool star, Jamie Carragher, tweeted, saying: “Enjoy the time that officials add in the Qatar World Cup 2022.. There is a lot of wasted time in football!”
But South American football expert Tim Vickery criticized the matter and considered it as “adding new rounds in a boxing match after the original number of rounds has ended.”
He added in a tweet on Twitter: “The players are running a lot more than they used to, and it’s okay to compensate for wasting time … but not in this egregious way.”
Physiotherapist Matt Konopinski also warned that the increase in the amount of injury time could lead to more injuries among players, not to mention its negative impact on the fitness and psychological of the athletes.
“We know there is an increased risk of injury at the end of the first half, so if we increase the amount of time players are required to play, that will result in an increased risk of injury,” he explained.
Konopinski also highlighted the issue that teams play many matches in a relatively short period of time, which places an additional burden on the supervisors of those teams and thus the need to work harder to keep players from injury and fatigue.
He pointed out that this will include developing clear strategies in nutrition, maintaining hydration of the players’ bodies, and keeping abreast of the latest therapeutic and technological developments in terms of recovery management.