I was at the FA Cup match between Luton Town and Man City last Wednesday (February 21, 2024), where the referee added no time at all at the end of the match. There had been multiple substitutions, two or three injury stoppages and five goal celebrations in the second half. I appreciate City were winning 6-2 and this may have been the reason, but is he really allowed just to ignore added time? I felt somewhat short-changed by this decision at such an entertaining match.

1 Answer 1


In its Law 7: the duration of the match (IFAB Laws of the Game 2023-24), the FA states that:

Allowance is made by the referee in each half for all playing time lost in that half through:

  1. substitutions
  2. assessment and/or removal of injured players
  3. wasting time
  4. disciplinary sanctions
  5. medical stoppages permitted by competition rules e.g. ‘drinks’ breaks (which should not exceed one minute) and ‘cooling’ breaks (ninety seconds to three minutes)
  6. delays relating to VAR 'checks' and 'reviews'
  7. goal celebrations
  8. any other cause, including any significant delay to a restart (e.g. due to interference by an outside agent)

The fourth official indicates the minimum additional time decided by the referee at the end of the final minute of each half.

There's nothing written in that rule that compels time addendum. Therefore, if the referee decides not to add some suppletive time, the 4th referee won't be able to show the time board, and there will be none. That's how I understand that rule. In your case, it still might be a mistake made by the arbitration body, but no evidence it happened though. The referee is the master of the game, and if he thinks that "enough is enough", then he blows the whistle...

An interesting discussion about the added time during the 2023/2024 season in Premier League.

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