The subjectivity of soccer timekeeping

As a North American I am much more familiar with hockey, baseball and football than soccer, so I will withhold any criticism of the officiating in the Canada/U.S.A. game that took place on Monday. But the Canadian team is facing disciplinary action from FIFA.

However as one who follows North American sports I have often wondered at the timekeeping of a soccer match (I know, it really is football, but for clarity I’ll call it soccer). Sports that have a time element, such as football, hockey, and basketball display for all to see a large and precise clock that in many cases is broken down to tenths of a second. There can be very little doubt about how much time is left and, with very few exceptions, once the time has run out the game, or period is over. (I realize some football plays are run with no time left on the clock). Baseball on the other hand has no time element and therefore, no game clock.

In soccer the time is displayed yet it appears the official time is on the referee’s wrist and only he or she is aware of exactly how much is left; and it looks as though there is some wiggle room. There seems to always be time for that last corner kick or throw in.

So when a goal is scored with 30 seconds remaining in time added-on I have to wonder if time would have expired with the stop-time system used in hockey etc.

The concept of time in a sporting event should not be subjective.

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