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‘Mbappé on the ground? Stop the clock!’

We need to be in the football past the actors look and the systematic tijdrekken to analyse, to find Simon Defruyt and Niels Gheyle. “The introduction of a stopklok strikes two birds in one stone dead’.

Kylian Mbappé: tijdrekken in the final stage of the France-Belgium. © Belga Image

Tuesday night July 10, 2018, from around 21u48. We are two minutes into the extra time of the semi final France-Belgium at the world cup, when attacker Kylian Mbappé (19), French rising star, the cornervlag looks to get the ball far from his own goal. When he was a throw-in must allow, he takes the ball laconically in the hand, as if he didn’t realize that the Belgians in a hurry. He rolled the ball loosely to his waist, to which was then klungelig from his hands to drop, two metres away. Strategically for the ball positionerend, he tries to pick it up, and gets a push in the back of the hurried Toby Alderweireld and Axel Witsel. Again, ten seconds there. Mbappé will ultimately receive a yellow card, but the lack of protest and his passive gaze clearly indicate that the youngster (and all of France with him), worst will be being. The clock strikes 21u50, the Belgians are on 1 minute of the shutdown. Of the 6 minutes of extra time in the end, only 2’37” football.

What followed that night and the days afterwards, it was an anger towards France (with exponent Mbappé) that national proportions assumed. Something you do not. No fairplay. Mbappé as a stuck-up celebrity. A number of months back had a lot of Belgian football fans the same feeling when they are Standard Liege of Ricardo Sa Pinto is the time full of saw with violations, agonizingly slow doeltrappen and free kicks, and provoking fights to continue to play football to avoid. Antivoetbal. A shame on the Belgian fields. Sa Pinto if even his bags at Standard – also because of the public opinion that is against returned?

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@KMbappe loses all his respect. @axelwitsel28 frustrated and @VincentKompany gets the captain himself above 😍 pic.twitter.com/zdAewaFwV2

— Pieter Janssens (@PirJanssens) July 11, 2018

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Mbappé on the ground? Stop the clock!

In our eyes there must be, however, beyond the actors be looked at and the systematic tijdrekken itself be analyzed. If someone tijdrekt, that time there just added in extra time, right? Error. What many football fans intuitively feel, and also figures show: there is consistently a little extra time granted. In a recent contribution on 538.org names some voetbalbloggers the group stage of the world cup under the microscope. What was the result? Each match was between 3 and 13 (!) minutes little extra time granted (a decision that fully autonomous by the referees quartet can be taken). The bloggers went even further, and timeden the number of minutes the ball effectively in the game. They came to the hallucinatory constatatie that there are only 55 to 60 minutes of a match was actually played football.

The step back to Mbappé and Sa Pinto can now in a very different light be seen: tijdrekken, both by ostentatiously stages to stop milking as by (regulatory) balls outside to kick it, is worth. Rather than a lack of fairplay from the French, this behaviour is in the context of the sport is a logical outgrowth of a winning mentality: within the created framework to do everything for the victory.

You have no learning psychology-to be an expert to see that behavior (tijdrekken) that is associated with a reward (higher chance of victory), will continue to make. Often, from childhood, been encouraged: when the team sponsors, coaches, but all too happy to join him: “Stay but a little longer. In such a framework is fairplay diametrically opposed to the opportunities to profit maximize, and is the sport doomed to be in a constant limbo place, where football fans often loves.

In that regard, we need no additional courses fairplay (even though for a lot of other aspects is extremely useful), but we may well go tinker with the system time-assign yourself. One of the options is the use of a stopklok, as in hockey, basketball or American football is used.

Shocking or innovative is such a proposal not in the least, but it beats the two above-mentioned birds with one stone dead. With a stopklok break you first, in the tradition of the arbitrary (and systematically too low) allocation of additional time by the referees. Criticism to their address will expire here also complete, and is thus – just like the VAR – an extra help for this mind-blowing job.

Second, the clock is also stopped at each death time, so that there are effectively x number of minutes of football, and defensive (park the bus’) football less worth. Although we see that as a legitimate way of playing football (again: within the current system maximizes the chances of success), the sport a aantrekkelijkheidskuur use. The use of a stopklok gives us time to play football back, rather than players throw-in or play for a doeltrap.

On the practical aspects of such a stopklok, of course, must be further considered. Personally we are in favour, first, of play 2 x 30 minutes. Since there are now also approximately one hours effective football, this would be the total duration of the matches with this time format does not change much. Even more so, some parties would be – everything is included – also used to be done, as teams have little benefit from tijdrekken: everything is played. Secondly, it is also the question of how this can be implemented outside the highest ranks of the football. We give every referee a timer in the hand, which he a thousand times per match need to press? There could be rightly asked any questions.

These practical objections, however, on the second place. When you first collectively agree that the introduction of a stopklok a good idea is to make the football more attractive and fairder to create, are practical hurdles later taken.

In the Netherlands it is already a step further. There was recently a friendly practice game played in the context of experimenting with new voetbalregels to the game to make it more attractive. One below: the stopklok. With other words: there moves something. And as long as there is something moving, the clock is what we can feel free to continue to doortikken.

Simon Defruyt, sports psychologist

Niels Gheyle, doctoraatstudent EU Studies, UGent

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