Panafrican News Agency

2017 FIFA Confed. Cup: Referees ordered to add time taken for goal celebrations to stoppage-time

Sr. Petersburg, Russia (PANA) - FIFA has ordered referees to add the time taken for goal celebrations to stoppage-time at the end of each half of a match, saying that the new protocol will be enforced at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, which begins on Saturday, with a view to adopting worldwide.

A crackdown on players mobbing officials and showing dissent and a renewed focus on enforcing the six-second limit on goalkeepers holding the ball during play were also announced at a press conference in St Petersburg.

Further Video Assistant Referee (VAR) live trials will be conducted as well at this month’s World Cup test event in Russia, as will an experiment allowing the use of a fourth substitute in extra-time, following approval from the International Football Association Board (IFAB).

Marco van Basten, the Holland icon who is now Fifa’s chief technical officer, said: “The aims of Fifa and IFAB are to promote fairness and integrity, increase playing time and optimise the use of technology."

FIFA said “Additional time is mostly one minute in the first half and three minutes in the second half. In a match in which many goals have been scored, the celebration of a goal often takes a lot of time, so this should be added.

“The audience want to see action so, therefore, we encourage referees to be stricter when calculating additional time.

“The goalkeeper can hold the ball for a maximum of six seconds but often does so for much longer. In one incident in the Under-20 World Cup, he held it for 20 seconds.

“We want to make the game more dynamic and we have asked referees to remind the goalkeeper this rule still exists and be stricter on it, to speed up the game.”

FIFA's head of refereeing, Massimo Busacca, said the trials of VARs at the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea, which was won by England, had eradicated scandalous errors.

He said: “I think the quality of the decisions is very high, never perfect, but it’s all about clear errors, which is something we have to avoid and I think we are on a good way.

“In 52 games in the Under-20 World Cup, without the technology, there would have been a mistake which was a scandal.”

The involvement of the VAR in the sending-off of France’s Raphaël Varane against England during Tuesday night’s friendly in Paris suggested there were still major flaws to be ironed out with video technology.
-0- PANA VAO 16June2017