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Law 7 - The Duration of the Match

Periods of play The match lasts two equal periods of 45 minutes, unless otherwise mutually agreed between the referee and the two teams. Any agreement to alter the duration of the periods of play (e.g. to reduce each half to 40 minutes because of insufficient light) must be made before the start of play and must comply with competition rules. Half-time interval Players are entitled to an interval at half-time. The half-time interval must not exceed 15 minutes. Competition rules must state the duration of the half-time interval. The duration of the half-time interval may be altered only with the consent of the referee. Allowance for time lost Allowance is made in either period for all time lost through: substitutions assessment of injury to players removal of injured players from the field of play for treatment wasting time any other cause The allowance for time lost is at the discretion of the referee. Penalty kick If a penalty kick has to be taken or retaken, the duration of either half is extended until the penalty kick is completed. Abandoned match An abandoned match is replayed unless the competition rules provide otherwise.

Interpretations of Law 1

Allowance for time lost Many stoppages in play are entirely natural (e.g. throw-ins, goal kicks). An allowance is to be made only when these delays are excessive. The fourth official indicates the minimum additional time decided by the referee at the end of the final minute of each period of play. The announcement of the additional time does not indicate the exact amount of time left in the match. The time may be increased if the referee considers it appropriate but never reduced. The referee must not compensate for a timekeeping error during the first half by increasing or reducing the length of the second half.

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