Delete
A referee holds up a red card at a match. SUR
Time-wasting

Time-wasting

It's time to get used to the new guidelines for referees. They tell us that it's like a large spoonful of medicine. It's going to be horrible at first but in time will cure some of the ills

Rob Palmer Commentator, ESPN

Friday, 18 August 2023, 16:44

Compartir

There's a revolution in the world of football which is going to take quite some time to come to terms with.

When supporters are filing out of the stadium in the early hours of Saturday morning following a Friday night game and the weekend finishes in the early hours of Monday morning with the Barcelona manager purple with rage, you know something is going on.

The big universal change is the time-keeping. Those within the game were invited to a Zoom lecture by top officials explaining the new directives to referees to stop the dark arts and unwanted gamesmanship.

No longer would they guess how long should be added to a match for substitutions, VAR reviews, players feigning injury, and other tricks that have crept into the game.

The Sevilla versus Valencia fixture changed the kick-off time to 10pm at night because of the invasive heat we've all experienced in Andalucía this summer. When water breaks and the other usual stoppages were taken into account, the game ended over two hours after kick-off.

This is the new normal after studies revealed that the ball had been in play for barely 50 minutes during top level matches and time-wasting was becoming an unwanted art-form. On Sunday night, Xavi was fuming following a fiery night at Getafe's stadium. "If this match is La Liga's product, it's an absolute embarrassment. I understand why people don't watch our football."

Strong words which won't win him salesman-of-the-year! He was fuming after twenty-six minutes had been added in total to Barça's game with Getafe. One of the long stoppages was for his red card; another for the dismissal of one of his stars, Raphinha.

Xavi had crossed the line on one of the other new directives - which is that coaches can't cross the line to get in the face of the fourth official. He'd lost his cool after the underhand tactics of the opposition - who have the spirit of the old Wimbledon side. They even wear the same all-blue kit as the infamous Crazy Gang. They have one player called Damián Suárez who makes Vinny Jones look like a children's entertainer.

He's the master of the sly dig or off-the-ball elbow that doesn't quite warrant a yellow card. He was one of eight players cautioned but not until the 82nd minute. The approach was controversial, but it worked. It disrupted the rhythm of the Catalan artisans. It wound up the players, manager, and fans. They'll point to the point gained against the champions as proof it worked.

So, it's time to get used to the new guidelines for referees. They tell us that it's like a large spoonful of medicine. It's going to be horrible at first but in time will cure some of the ills. They reckon that if players delay leaving the field or pretend to be injured to waste time, they will now know that time will be added and will change their habits. Stadium clocks will also go beyond the 90 minute mark now and continue to roll on.

It's going to be like the schoolteacher who told you that the bell is there for them; and they'd keep you there until the full lesson had been learned.

Reporta un error en esta noticia

* Campos obligatorios