Kevin De Bruyne slammed the ‘senseless’ new additional time rules after Manchester City conceded in the 101st minute against Arsenal on Sunday, claiming that even referees are unhappy with the rule change that has come into effect this season.
Referees will add more injury time to the end of each half to cut down on timewasting, adding more minutes for substitutions, goal celebrations, and perceived timewasting. There were three minutes added to the end of the first half during the Community Shield, with eight minutes added at the end of the 90 minutes.
An injury delay within that stoppage time saw Arsenal score 11 minutes after the allotted 90 minutes, with another two to three minutes played after Leandro Trossard’s equaliser.
De Bruyne was keen to stress that the rules were not the reason that City went on to lose the Community Shield on penalties, but did question the new directives that ‘don’t make any sense’ and creates more problems than it will solve.
“Assuming we’re going to play about 15 minutes extra every game now, that says it all,” he said at Wembley. “We spoke to the Arsenal players and even the referees. They don’t even want to do it, but it’s the new rule and it’s what it is.
“A game like today, even the first half with three minutes extra, you can only guess what’s going to happen if you play a lower team who keep timewasting all the time. Today we played 12-13 minutes. I can see games going for 20-25 minutes [extra]. I think this will change in one to two months but this is the first game.”
Pep Guardiola challenged the logic of the new additional time rules before the Community Shield and also after the game, while De Bruyne has also been a vocal critic of the football authorities scheduling more games for elite players, questioning the effect it will have on their fitness and conditioning.
He joked that City could play 70-80 games this season, and agreed with the notion that the rules effectively create a period of extra time each week.
He said: “I’m thinking if we play Seville in Olympiakos [Karaiskakis Stadium for the UEFA Super Cup] on Wednesday and have 15-20 extra minutes and then play on Saturday again. It’s like two times extra time. We’ll see how it goes but it doesn’t make any sense.”
De Bruyne joins Guardiola and Manchester United defender Raphael Varane in publicly criticising the new rules, as high-profile opposition grows to the idea of regularly playing over ten minutes of injury time.
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