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Question Number: 28572

Law 7 - Match Duration 7/1/2014

RE: Adult

Mike of Columbus, OH USA asks...

Watching Belgium vs USA got me thinking. If there was 3 minutes of added time at the end of 90 minutes and then two 15 minute periods of extra time added, shouldn't the game have ended at the 123rd minute (before extra stoppage time)? The first extra period would have been 93rd minute to 108 minute then second extra period from 108 minute to 123 minute? Or do they reset the clock to show 90 minute at end of regulation and 105 at end of first extra period?

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Your arithmetic is correct, but the clock is reset at the start of each period. Thus, the clock at the start of the second half says 45:00 regardless of time added in the first half. The same process is used when there are additional periods to decide who advances.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mike
Timing is entirely a matter for the referee and added time is at his discretion.
When the Fourth Official shows the board with a time displayed it means that the referee is playing a minimum of that added time.
At the end of the first half the referee played 3 added minutes and at the end of 90 minutes the referee played by coincidence 3 minutes of added time. The clock went to zero again at the start of Extra Time and the referee played 2 minutes of added time making 17 minutes in total in the first half. The clock again went to zero at the start of the 2nd half of Extra Time and the referee played 1 minute of added tine making 16 minutes in total. Total game time was 129 minutes which was 96 plus 33 minutes.
Clearly USA would have liked the game to continue. In fairness to Belgium the team did not engage in cynical time wasting and the time added on appeared fair. I always tell team that they do not control time so they should focus on what they do control. Both teams had 129 minutes to achieve a result through scoring. Why focus on the last minute which is discretionary.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Mike,

If there was 2 minutes of stoppage time added in the first half of a match, and a goal was scored in the dying seconds, it would be recorded as 45+2. If a goal is then scored in the opening seconds of the second half, it would be recorded as 46.

That's because, regardless of how much stoppage time is added, there is only 45min of play. If 10 min of stoppage time is added, that's because there was 10min of lost time, not because play goes for 55min.

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