The almost 30 minutes of added time in England-Iran took many by surprise, but former Italian referee Pierluigi Collina had explained why injury time would be longer in World Cup games.
England won their World Cup opener 6-2 against Iran, but the match lasted almost two hours with 14 minutes of stoppage time added at the end of the first half and 10 more at the end of the second half.
The first half was quite eventful with Iran’s goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand, receiving lengthy treatment after a clash of heads with his teammate Majid Hosseini and a VAR check on a potential penalty incident for England.
The long injury time took many by surprise, but former referee Collina had warned last week that fans should expect these sorts of situations in Qatar.
“What we already did in Russia  was to more accurately calculate the time to be compensated,” the chairman of the FIFA referees committee told ESPN.
“We told everybody to don’t be surprised if they see the fourth official raising the electronic board with a big number on it, six, seven or eight minutes.
“If you want more active time, we need to be ready to see this kind of additional time given. Think of a match with three goals scored. A celebration normally takes one, one and a half minutes, so with three goals scored, you lose five or six minutes.
“What we want to do is accurately calculate the added time at the end of each half. It can be the fourth official to do that, we were successful in Russia and we expect the same in Qatar.
“I am not talking about VAR intervention, this is something which is different and calculated by the Video Assistant Referee in a very precise way.
“Even at the time I was a referee, the info [on added time] came from the fourth official, you are too much focused on what’s going on that it’s possible not to consider something. It’s the fourth official who usually proposes the amount of added time and the referee tends to decide…and decides.”
Collina is probably the most iconic referee in the history of the game. He won the Best Referee of the Year six consecutive times and was named chairman of the FIFA referees committee in 2017.