Premier League referees will NOT follow FIFA’s new stoppage time mantra

EXCLUSIVE: Premier League referees will not follow FIFA’s strict new mantra of stoppage time when domestic football returns… with World Cup matches running on average four minutes longer than English top-flight matches

The Premier League will ignore FIFA’s strict new stoppage-time decree when it resumes after the World Cup.

Sportsmail has learned that a number of referees were shocked at the amount of time being added in Qatar. They have sought clarification from Professional Game Match Officials Limited as to whether they will be asked to do the same.

FIFA’s chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina explained that officials must add all the “abnormal lost time” to the end of each half, resulting in unusually long matches.

The World Cup in Qatar saw some unusually long matches due to injury time

It comes after FIFA chief referee Pierluigi Collina asked the referees to add

It comes after FIFA chief referee Pierluigi Collina asked referees to add “all the unnatural wasted time”.

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

During talks with local referees, PGMOL reassured them that they would not be required to follow suit and would instead be asked to encourage players to continue the game, as well as delay restarting their clock until play could begin after a break.

The Premier League’s approach will be welcomed by players, who have expressed concern about the increase in injuries and the fatigue caused by the long matches. The international players’ union Fifpro is also monitoring the situation.

“If the effective playing time increases by 10 to 15 percent, this adds significantly to the time under players’ physical competition,” said Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, Fifpro General Secretary. More than anything else, it confirms once again how important it is to protect the workload of players. It should be created now.

England's opening match against Iran stretched out to nearly two hours after a long layoff

England’s opening match against Iran stretched out to nearly two hours after a long layoff

While FIFA controls World Cup refereeing, any changes to the laws globally pass through the IFAB, which is made up of four representatives from FIFA and one from each of the four countries.

The IFAB last month rejected plans for an NFL-style system in which games would be reduced to 60 minutes of effective playing time, with the clock stopping when the ball is out of play.

A number of Premier League referees have privately speculated that the management of the World Cup is an attempt by FIFA to introduce 60-minute matches through the back door.

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