I think you know this feeling very well. The last minutes of the football (soccer if you want to call it this way) match. All eyes are concentrated not on players but on a fourth referee who any second will rise up his electronic table and show how much of the injury time yet to be played.
That’s a strange and unnecessary celebration. Why unnecessary? I hope you were watching the recent European Championships in France. 51 more or less interesting matches. In 24 of them, the referees added 3 minutes of injury time after the last minute of the regular time. Only in 6 matches, the referees added less time, and in three of those winners were leading by a significant margin.
I’ll briefly explain how it works. The idea was to add more time because of any stoppage during a match. The reality shows it went totally different way. According to guidelines, the referees have for every substitution made during the match, and not during the half break, they should add 30 seconds. Normally there are 6 substitutions during a match so 3 added minutes should be almost granted due to only one reason. But there are other situations when on the field there is nothing of football and much of a theater or a hospital or even boxing. What with that example of time wasting if in 59% of matches a referee adds no more than obvious 3 min?
Normally a referee will add something extra over 3 minutes when something obvious will happen but if a goalkeeper would time waiting throughout whole second part nothing will be added. Of course, referees have their explanation that there were 3 minutes added and that lost time was included in them. But it could be so if there was all six substitution during the second half.
From my point of view adding time according to the existing rules is silly and pointless. If adding a time for any substitution is a rule, why shouldn’t we add it at hoc? Just say that a regular time for a football match it is 93 minutes. The injury time will be adding to this 93 minutes. Simple. The other way is to leave the almost eternal 90 minutes as everybody knows that the substitutions are parts of the game, but each exchange should take no more than 30 seconds. If more, the exchanging team plays in ten men and the entering player will be waiting until the next pause.
Would it be better for football? I don’t know but at least no one will be making fools of supporters paying for tickets of TV access quite large sums.