FIFA head of refereeing Pierluigi Collina has proposed a rule change following Liverpool’s historic win over Manchester United.
Jurgen Klopp’s men inflicted the heaviest Premier League defeat on their eternal foes running out 7-0 winners. Curiously, despite registering six unanswered second-half goals and both sides making their full complement of substitutions in that second 45 minutes, there were only three minutes added at the end of the game.
Collina would also cite Liverpool’s recent 5-2 loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League, believing that if added time had been correctly added it would have been nearer 16 minutes.
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The legendary former Italian official did admit that accurate time-keeping does matter, even when the score is as large as 7-0.
“Last weekend in the Premier League, there were 10 matches. Four had additional time of 10 minutes or more and two should have been higher but weren’t only because they had scores of 7-0 and 4-0,” he said.
“In the game at Liverpool, there was four minutes added, one in the first half and three in the second. But there were six goals in the second half.
But he also added that common sense would be at the heart of FIFA decision-making and said football’s governing body may at some point consider introducing a rule “which says if the difference between the two sides is big the additional time is not to be given.”
“But this would be in the laws of the game,” he added.
“Now it is common sense but it is common sense, when it doesn’t affect the interest of someone.
“I can understand that showing the right amount of time when it is 7-0 is difficult to understand. But in some competitions the goal difference in the entire competition may be decisive at the end for the ranking.
“So, even one goal scored or not scored could make the difference.”
Sky Sports analyst and former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was succinct in his response to Collina’s words.
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) March 10, 2023
Going even further, Collina suggested football could look to baseball. The sport uses a “mercy rule”, predominantly at international tournaments and some US collegiate levels, which ends a contest when one side builds an insurmountable lead after a certain number of innings.
“Maybe in the future we may consider within the laws of the game to say that additional time has not to be given at the end of the match if there is a difference of x’ goals between the teams,” he said.
“At a certain stage we need to consider what is common sense or what is not.”