The following text is partly taken from DFB's two-monthly published referee newspaper, DFB referee committee member and former Bundesliga referee Lutz Wagner tries to avoid misunderstandings related to the fourth official's task in a football match.
"Every television viewer interested in football knows that scenario. At the end of the live broadcast, the commentator wants to finally increase the tension by stressing the ultimate highlight of the match: "And now, he is raising the board! The fourth official decided to award four further minutes of additional time in this match and informs the referee about that! [...] The home team hence has still 240 seconds to score the equalizer!"
What is right reading those lines? Unfortunately, almost nothing, apart from the electronic board from which the commentator has read off the shown additional time!
- It is not the fourth official who awards the additional time, it is the referee's thing!
- Consequently, he does not "inform the referee" about the additional time, since he already knows it, but informs all involved including players, spectators and also commentators about it.
- Furthermore, it is not the additional time of "this match", but solely of the second half. Additional times have to be awarded at the end of each half and therefore added to each half (if needed).
- In addition, it is not clear at all whether a team really "has still 240 seconds to score" a goal. The additional time awarded by the referee and signaled by the fourth official is no ultimate decision. The referee can enlarge the additional time, as soon as he consideres that as necessary. However, he is not allowed to shorten it.
"Therefore, such a superficial knowledge being persistently propagated is quite annoying. [If no electronical board is available], the referee has to signalize the additional time to all involved in a clear manner by his fingers (Law 7).", Wagner emphasizes.
What can be reasons for additional time? The Laws of the Game define:
- injuries of players
- transport of injured players off the pitch
- time wasting (has only to be taken as a reason for additional time if the team infringing the Laws by that have no advantage by time wasting)
- every other reason (which more precisely includes external influences like a suspension of the match due to pyrotechnics or stuff).
The most important aspect is: the height of the additional time signalized by the fourth official depends on the assessment of the referee.
|Additional time is the referee's thing (c) DFB|
In the third minute of this additional time, the away team's goalkeeper approximately "stole" 20-30 seconds by time wasting at a goal kick. He accepted the call; this time wasting led to a direct advantage of his team, since they were at that moment qualified for the next round, so that Zwayer had to enlarge the additional time by these 20 or 30 seconds. After this goal kick, there was a tactical foul by Dinamo Zagreb leading to a yellow card and an alleged head injury, from which the fouled midfielder had to recover for exactly 28 seconds. A few moments later, the next Bulgarian player stalled for time by needing 19 seconds for going to a throw-in position and then deciding to shift the execution of this throw-in to a team-mate. Zwayer correclty booked him for time wasting, had to note the offender which furthermore cost a few seconds. In the end, approximately 70 seconds were hence wasted which had to be added on the original additional time of five minutes. The official correctly allowed a further attack and in 90+6:01, a Bulgarian defender excellently cleared a dangerous ball in the box, leading to a corner kick for Dinamo Zagreb which Zwayer allowed. In addition, there was another injury of the player who cleared, which had to recover from that for 30 seconds. The corner kick was executed and in its direct aftermath, Dinamo scored the decisive 3-2. One of Ludogorets' player later insulted Zwayer and was sent off.
Despite of the fact that this procedure certainly caused anger and misunderstanding among neutral spectators and also Ludogorets' players, the referee dealt with the incidents in an adequate manner.