FIFA released a statement insisting ‘there will be no changes to the rules regarding the length of football matches’ for the 2022 World Cup, after reports Gianni Infantino was pushing effective playing time.

The story emerged after Infantino visited Florence this week, in a report in the Corriere dello Sport, where the FIFA President had spoken positively about the idea of extending stoppages to ensure the ball was in play for a set minimum amount of time.

This is a proposal that has been pushed by Milan coach Stefano Pioli since last season, as he complained a game against Udinese had only 45 minutes of effective playing time out of 90.

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The suggestion this could be introduced for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar sparked controversy, but FIFA have now released an official statement.

“Following some reports and rumours spread today, FIFA would like to clarify that there will be no changes to the rules regarding the length of football matches for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 or any other competition.”

There were warnings that using effective playing time rules would effectively make some matches last 100 minutes and more.

This would be difficult also for global television scheduling, as well as for the teams involved in the stadium.

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