Stoppage time, Gareth Bale, FIFA lies about crowd sizes, news, ticket issues, latest, Lionel Messi

The 2022 World Cup continues to raise eyebrows among supporters, as several picked up on the absurdly large amounts of stoppage time in the tournament.

According to Opta, the four single halves with the most stoppage time since 1966 in a single World Cup match all took place on the second match day of the tournament.

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The first half of England’s clash against Iran had an additional 14:08 minutes on the clock and 13:08 minutes for the second half.

There was a fairly legitimate reason to explain the extra 14 minutes in England’s match as Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand went down with a head injury.

In Wales’ match against the United States, there was 10 minutes and 34 seconds of second half stoppage time added on while the Netherlands and Senegal played an additional 10 minutes and three seconds in the second half.

Speaking to SBS after the game, Welsh skipper Gareth Bale was baffled as to where the stoppage time had come from.

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“I can’t believe it was nine minutes added on, I don’t know where that came from,” Bale said.

However, legendary football referee Pierluigi Collina explained the long stoppages, noting that it shouldn’t have come as a surprise based on previous statements.

“What we already did in Russia was to more accurately calculate the time to be compensated,” Collina told ESPN.

“We told everybody not to be surprised if they see the fourth official raising the electronic board with a big number on it, six, seven or eight minutes.

“If you want more active time, we need to be ready to see this kind of additional time given. Think of a match with three goals scored. A celebration normally takes one, one-and-a-half minutes, so with three goals scored, you lose five or six minutes.”

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EMPTY SEATS AT EVERY GAME BUT FIFA MAKES OUTRAGEOUS CROWD CLAIM

World Cup organizers have been accused of falsifying attendance statistics after TWICE announcing a crowd size bigger than the official capacity of the stadium.

At the opening match of the tournament – ​​hosts Qatar against Ecuador – the official attendance was declared at 67,372. But the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor only holds 60,000, according to the official media guide for the tournament.

And today, the Netherlands played Senegal at the Al Thumama stadium, with a capacity of 40,000 – only for officials to announce an attendance of 41,721.

No explanation has been given for the discrepancies.

It’s not the only issue with crowd sizes in Qatar. At the opening match, more than half of the stadium was empty by the full-time whistle as home fans streamed out after Qatar went down by two goals after just over half an hour.

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There have been many empty seats at each match so far. England fans missed the start of their first World Cup clash against Iran this morning after FIFA’s e-ticketing app crashed.

FIFA released a statement just before kick-off giving advice to fans.

It read: “Some spectators are currently experiencing an issue with accessing their tickets via the FIFA Ticketing APP. FIFA is working on solving the issue. In the meantime, fans who are unable to access their mobile tickets should check the email accounts they used to register with the Ticketing app for further instructions.

“In case fans cannot access their email accounts, the stadium’s Ticket Resolution Point will be able to support. We thank fans for their understanding as we work to fix the issue as soon as possible.”

It meant thousands of supporters missed the start of the match.

MESSI READY TO MAKE THE MOST OF FINAL CHANCE

Argentina superstar Lionel Messi insisted on Monday he is determined to make the most of what will likely be his fifth and final chance to win the World Cup.

At 35 years of age, the diminutive magician is close to winding down his remarkable trophy-laden career.

And after playing already in four World Cup tournaments, including suffering the heartache of losing the 2014 final in Brazil to Germany, Messi is adamant that he wants to make the most of what could be his last hurrah on the global stage in Qatar.

“It is probably my last World Cup, my last chance to land this great dream that we all have,” Messi told reporters in Doha.

“I don’t know if this is my happiest moment, but I feel great. I’m older, more mature, I want to make the most of everything, to live it with the maximum intensity and to enjoy every moment that I have.

“Today I’m enjoying everything much more. Before I didn’t think about that.

“Age makes you see things differently and makes the little details more important: those that before you didn’t give much importance to.”

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The seven-time winner of the Ballon d’Or is widely regarded as one of the two greatest players of his generation — if not of all time — alongside Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

But after winning almost everything else in football, Messi is desperate to emulate fellow Argentina icon Diego Maradona, who inspired the South American giants to glory in Mexico 1986.

In recent days, Messi has trained twice apart from the rest of the squad but he moved to dispel any concerns among Argentines that he might not be fit for Tuesday’s Group C opener against Saudi Arabia.

“I trained separately because I had a knock, it was precautionary, but nothing unusual,” he said.

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Argentina head into the tournament as Copa America holders and unbeaten in 36 matches dating back to 2019.

But coach Lionel Scaloni is wary about too much expectation and being praised as one of the title favourites.

“The big favorites usually don’t win the World Cup. There are great teams, no less than eight or 10 that can win the World Cup, mostly Europeans.

“It’s true that the South Americans haven’t been able to reach the final recently, apart from Argentina in 2014. It is details that will decide the world champions and they don’t have to be favourites.”

Argentina’s Copa America success last year — defeating Brazil 1-0 at the Selecao’s Maracana fortress — lifted the weight of a painful 28-year barren spell without a major title for the Albiceleste.

Both Scaloni and Messi acknowledged that the victory had freed the team from intense pressure.

“Having won decompresses you a lot, it gives you peace of mind,” said captain Messi.

“This allows the people to be less anxious and fretting over results.”

Bale ends 64-year drought for Wales | 00:55

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