In a world cup mired in controversy and political talking points even before a single kick of the ball, there was yet another obscene rumour pertaining to the increase in the duration of the games at the FIFA spectacle slated to be held in Qatar starting on the 21st of November later this year.
Talk of football games being played for a hundred minutes instead of the traditional ninety, in an attempt to account for and tally up time the ball would be out of play, left the collective football world puzzled.
But, FIFA quashed the spread of any such reports, stating that there will be no changes to the rules regarding the length of football matches for the world cup or any other competition.
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.
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) April 6, 2022
Perhaps a rumour that would have been dismissed as poppycock a few years back, the hearsay rattled the world as the upcoming showpiece is one that already sticks out from all the conventional world cups tournaments that we have become acclimatised to.
Firstly, the calendar schedule of the event itself is something new to the world as for the first time ever the tournament will be played during the winter, upsetting the harmony that has been built up between club and international football schedules over the years.
And even more damning was the debate centred around the dire working conditions of the labourers who were contracted to ensure the construction or renovation of 8 state-of-the-art football stadiums, with some reports even claiming seizure of passports belonging to the workers and sub-human treatment of the employees.
The Netherlands head coach, Louis Van Gaal, expressed his concern over the tournament being awarded to Qatar, as he sees it as a move motivated by financial gain to benefit the cause of FIFA.
Despite the voices raised against the first-ever world cup in the Arab world, the host nation and its delegates maintained their position on the event enriching the culture and creating new horizons in a sporting context for the football-crazy region.