Following Manchester United’s 7-0 loss to Liverpool last weekend, the world football governing body FIFA is now considering a new rule to assist teams that are being humiliated by their opponents.
The FIFA and UEFA head of referees, Pierluigi Collina, questioned Andy Madley’s decision to only add three minutes of injury time during the rout at Anfield. However, he later admitted FIFA could implement a “mercy rule” in such cases.
Despite six goals and ten substitutions, Madley added only three minutes to the end of Liverpool’s massive win. FIFA is pushing for longer stoppage time as seen at the World Cup. However, the Premier League has yet to adopt this.
Collina believes referees used “common sense” to assist Manchester United and West Ham United last weekend.
“Last weekend, ten matches were played in the Premier League and four matches exceeded 100 minutes [in total],” Collina said.
“Two of them should have been higher than this only because they were 7-0 and 4-0 [Brighton v West Ham United] and the referee probably decided not to consider the additional time be given accurately”.
“Six goals were scored in the second half [at Anfield]. I can understand that giving quite a relevant amount of additional time when it is 7-0 is difficult to understand in this specific match. But if the regulations of the competition say that the entire goal difference is relevant for the ranking at the end even one goal scored or not scored can make the difference.”
Instead of using ‘common sense’ in these situations, Collina believes a’mercy rule’ could be implemented.
“Maybe in the future we may consider to say that additional time has not to be given at the end of the match if there is a difference bigger than X goals between the two teams, but that would be in the laws of the game,” Collina added.
“Now it is common sense — but common sense is not common sense if it affects someone. In Spain v Costa Rica at the World Cup, Spain were leading 6-0 and eight minutes of additional time were given”.
“Spain scored one [more] goal in additional time [to make it 7-0] and that goal could have cost Spain or Costa Rica qualification for the next round of the competition.”
Gianni Infantino, FIFA’s president, recently suggested that leagues would be monitored to ensure they were using FIFA’s time-keeping system. Which means similar to the World Cup, Premier League matches could last longer than 100 minutes in the coming season.