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Question Number: 29872

Law 7 - Match Duration 10/31/2015

RE: Adult

Ant Vines of Nottingham, notts England asks...

This question is a follow up to question 27340

In the Premier League, If the referee has measured the amount of injury time at 90 minutes as say 2 minutes and 45 seconds, what does he indicate to the 4th official as the amount of injury time for the board? And then how long does he allow the game to be played if there are no further causes for extra injury time during the additional time?
Howard Webb has said that top refs are told to play the exact number of minutes on the board unless there is further injury time reasons during the original allocated injury time. This however does not allow for the extra 45 seconds in my example unless the board should indicate 3 minutes and not 2?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Ant,
I respect Mr. Webb but the 4th official indicates the MINIMUM additional time decided by the referee at the end of the final minute of each period of play. This is not a definite statement of the exact amount of time left in the match. Once the time goes past the displayed time often the team winning by a goal or if they have the result they want get very anxious at seeing more than a few seconds going by the allotted stated minutes. The amount of time can be added on to if the referee has the opinion it must but the time is never reduced.Time is relative and usually not so precise so consider the time displayed as an approximation. In my matches without a 4th I tend to round up to the nearest minute at 2.45 plus I likely go with 3 minutes. I announce this to the ARS and both benches between 5 and 3 minutes from the end of a half. If it was a tad over 2 minutes then show 2 but let the clock tick those extra few seconds that you know are required. Unlike NHSF there is no countdown clock with a horn. The referee's whistle announces time has COMPLETELY expired! That said in certain stadiums and with TV contracts and schedules I know for a fact referees are told on occasion not to add too much and are told NOT to play past the time unless there was no other option.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ant
When the 4th Official board is displayed the message given is that the referee has indicated that he is playing a MINIMUM of X minutes. In the 2.45 minutes scenario the board will show 2 Minutes and the game will end at 2.45.
Now many times the referee will simply add on the 15 seconds and make it 3 minutes and that is what is shown with the game ending at 3 minutes.
Pro referees have to take into account how it *looks* to the paying public and also to the TV audiences so finding the 15 seconds is more acceptable than showing 2 on the board and almost playing 3. This is what Referee Howard Webb is alluding to.
In the Champions League referees simply end on or close to the time shown on the board even if there has been some time wasting during the added time.
Anyway what I say to teams is that they have 90 minutes to do what they need to do rather than focussing on time that is at the referees discretion.

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