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FIFA Berated For Excess Extra Time As AC Milan Plan Changes For Newcastle United

Written By Onyeka Daniel

Recently, the governing body for football in Europe and the world, UEFA and FIFA decided to extend the length of extra-time being given in a football match in a bid to reduce time wasting and make sure that the absolute time is utilized in a football game.

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We saw the results first hand at the World Cup late last year with an average football match lasting for 100 minutes and this has generated mixed reactions, but for UEFA Director of Professional Football, Zvonimir Boban, the decision to increase the average length of extra time was a wrong move.

He expressed his anger, attacking Pierluigi Collina and FIFA. The topic of actual playing time, the true amount of time that the ball is in play in a match – has been increasingly moving to the forefront in recent years, with many seemingly unhappy that some games see the ball in play for as little as two-thirds of the 90 minutes.


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At the World Cup, it was evident that FIFA were testing the idea of more accurate periods of extra time, with some periods lasting over 10 minutes. This has continued domestically, with one example being Tottenham’s recent win over Sheffield United.

Speaking in a recent interview with Spanish News outlet, Marca, Boban weighed in on the topic, hitting out at FIFA and Collina, who is on the FIFA referees committee.

“They have taken this decision on their own, without consulting teams and players, who precisely in the last half-hour experience the hardest moment of the match and now, in an already excessively busy schedule, they also see extra times lengthen disproportionately.

“Collina and FIFA don’t care, but football is not theirs, it belongs to those who love it. I have known the former referee for years and we have always collaborated positively, but now he must put his ego aside for the good of the sport.

“As for the UEFA competitions, we will not follow these directives, they are anti-football and go against the health of the players.” It remains to be seen how long extra time periods will be on average in the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League this season.

Meanwhile…

AC Milan manager, Stefano Pioli is reportedly planning several changes to the team for the Champions League against Newcastle United, after a humiliating 5-1 derby defeat to Inter.

Their opening European clash is at San Siro on Tuesday evening, when Sandro Tonali will return as an opponent for the first time since his €80m summer move to Tyneside.

Pioli had until now been reticent to make adjustments to his line-up, but was forced into changing the defence against Inter when Fikayo Tomori was suspended and Pierre Kalulu injured.

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Tomori is available again and should start against Newcastle, but we could also see some changes in other areas of the pitch. Samuel Chukwueze was snapped up from Villarreal for €28m including bonuses and could get his first start in the Milan jersey, therefore sending Christian Pulisic to the bench.

There might also be a switch in midfield, as one of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Rade Krunic and Tijjani Reijnders might be rested after playing non-stop so far this season. Krunic is the favourite to make way for Yunus Musah. Luka Jovic will alsi get some minutes, even if Olivier Giroud remains the favorite to start upfront.

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