Allowance is made in any period of play (including extra time) for time lost through substitutions, assessment of injuries, removal of players from the field of play for treatment, time wasting and any other cause. The specific amount of the allowance is at the discretion of the referee, although the International Football Association Board (IFAB) has advised that the full time lost due to injuries should be allowed. By tradition, the primary focus of this provision in Law 7 is on delays in the restart of play which are excessively prolonged. Among examples of "other cause" would be the need for the officiating team to confer regarding the identity of players committing misconduct; confrontations with officials; the removal of streamers, debris or other objects thrown on to the field which interrupts the game; pitch incursions by spectator(s);and so forth.
In order to standardize the procedures by which "additional time" is being allowed in a period of play, the following guidelines are adopted:
This minimum time does not indicate the exact amount of time left in the match nor does it preclude more time being added to the allowance for any subsequent injuries or additional delays (including time wasting). However, no further communication with or by the Fourth Official will be necessary.
Once the indication of the minimum time allowed has been given by the Fourth Official, this time cannot be reduced. It is the minimum expected by everyone involved in the game. Referees are therefore to ensure that a period of play is not ended prior to the expiration of the announced remaining time.
Clubs are reminded that the Public Address Announcer should announce “There will be a minimum of _____ minutes allowance for time lost. Official time is being kept on the field by the referee.”