Serie A to implement new rules to clamp down on time wasting: How will they work?

Looking to combat time-wasting, Serie A is implementing new rules for 2023/24 and we could be set to see lengthy stoppage time added to the end of games.


Serie A officials will be required to take greater consideration into managing time wasting, further extending stoppage time for each half, according to a change in regulations ahead of the 2023/24 season.

During the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Effective Playing Time was a topic that came into discussion, and referees were not reluctant to add as much as 10 minutes of added time at the end of matches. After some initial backlash, football fans began to appreciate it and there are more calls to combat time-wasting in European leagues.

It remains to be seen whether there will be lots of added time at the 2023 Women’s World Cup this summer or not.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Football Italia), UEFA and the FIGC want match officials to pay more detail to certain aspects of games that cause them to be prolonged.

Serie A referees to prolong matches further in 2023/24

Referees will be advised not to reduce much of the actual playing time, and focus will be on clamping down on throw-ins, preparation of dead-ball situations, goal-kicks, and goal celebrations. The more time wasted by players, the more time officials will be able to justify adding on to the end of matches.

The recommendation from IFAB (International Football Association Board) was approved by 86% of leagues around the world and Italian football will be taking this on board for the 2023/24 Serie A season.

Serie A averages more Effective Playing Time than Premier League

Referee Marco Di Bello consults VAR. (Photo: Getty)

Despite this desire to limit time wasting, the Italian league is not as bad as its European counterparts. Out of the top five leagues in Europe, Serie A has had the most Effective Playing Time from the 2018/19 campaign onwards with 61.35 minutes per game. The Premier League in comparison averaged just 60.59 minutes in the same period.

Although Italian football has moved away from being a predominantly defensive and low-scoring league, the dated stereotypes are still utilised by critics of Serie A or people that do not follow the league. This statistic is one example of how Italian teams are slowly moving away from the conservative methods of the past.


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