90 Minutes Only Rule
Gary Lineker once said that football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for ninety minutes and at the end, the Germans always win. What Mr. Lineker failed to acknowledge with his glib and amusing remark is that football matches aren’t always ninety minutes long, yet most bets are settled when the whistle blows to indicate the end of normal time. When the likes of the World Cup rolls around, some people who might not bet very often may place a wager on a 2-1 scoreline and wonder why their bet is a loser when it’s 1-1 at full-time but 2-1 after extra time.
Anyone who has ever tried to think about placing a bet will know that if football truly was a simple game then we’d all be a lot better off and our bookmaker of choice wouldn’t be. When Liverpool went up against AC Milan in the Champions League final in 2005, bets on the match ending in a draw after ninety minutes would have been winners, yet would only have told half the story of the game itself. Here I’ll talk you through what the ninety minutes only rule is and why you’ll need to bear it in mind when placing football bets.
When Football Doesn’t Last for 90 Minutes
Most football matches last for ninety minutes, with the referees in charge of the game tasked with the responsibility of making sure that that’s the case. They have a watch on them that they stop and start when a player goes down injured, someone is time-wasting or a substitution is being made. There are other infractions that they stop the clock for too, as it happens. The idea behind this is that each half should last for forty-five minutes, so if there have been two minutes worth of stoppages during a forty-five minute period then the referee will add that time on to the end of the half. As a consequence, each half of football will usually last for longer than forty-five minutes, with the overall match therefore lasting more than ninety minutes, strictly speaking. Yet the actual playing time will, theoretically, add up to ninety minutes once the period of stoppage time has been taken into account.
That’s what happens in a normal, everyday match such as those played in leagues around the world on an almost daily basis. At the end of the ninety minutes there will be a result, with one team winning and one team losing or both sides drawing. In certain competitions, of course, there needs to be a decision made. A draw is an unacceptable result, meaning that something needs to be done to ensure that there is a definitive outcome. In that instance the game will, usually, go to extra-time and, if needed, penalties. For that of you that don’t really watch much football and just want to bet on it, it’s important to point out that there’s a difference between stoppage time and extra-time. The former is the time added to the end of a normal forty-five minute period to make up for any stoppages that occurred during the game. The latter is an added period of time that’s played at the end of a ninety minute match if no result has been forthcoming.
How That Can Change Your Bet
The reason I’m at pains to make that clear is that it could affect your bet. You see, if you’re betting on a knockout match, such as those that occur in the World Cup, Champions League or other tournament, then it’s possible that the structure of the competition will mean that there needs to be a result from the match that night. If that’s the case then the game may well end up going to extra-time and penalties in order to ensure that there’s a winner, with all of that taking place after the ninety minutes of the match proper. If that happens then it’s very possible that your bet will already have been settled before the extra football is played.
Unless it’s otherwise specified, you should assume that your bet is a bet on the main ninety minutes of the match. Let’s say, for example, that you’ve placed a bid on England to beat Italy 3-2 in a European Championships knockout match. At the end of the ninety minutes the referee blows his whilst with the score at 1-1. During extra-time, Italy go 2-1 up, only for England to then score two in the second period of extra-time and win 3-2. You’re jumping around the room celebrating your winning bet, but when you login to your online account you see that the bookie hasn’t paid you out. Why not? Because the bet was on the result after ninety minutes, which was 1-1, thereby making yours a losing wager.
It doesn’t really matter what the bet is, whether it’s First Goalscorer or an Under / Over bet on the Number of Corners, in most cases the bet will be on the ninety minutes action of the main game. It will be settled at the end of that time, regardless of the fact that there’s still football to be played. A bet on a player to score a certain number of goals won’t include any scored in a penalty shootout, for example. Likewise betting sone something such as ‘Match Result & 3 or More Goals in the Match’ will not include anything scored after the full-time whistle, so don’t think that you’re getting one over on the bookmakers by betting on over five goals in a game that you think will end in penalties. Obviously penalties scored within the main ninety minutes will still count, though.
How to Bet Including Extra-Time & Penalties
Though the vast majority of bets are only for the ninety minutes of the main match, that doesn’t mean that you can’t place bets that include extra-time and penalties. It’s tricky to place bets that require specificity during that period, such as Number of Throw-Ins or Correct Score, but betting on over-arching markets is simple enough. Just make sure that you see your eye out for the phrasing used by bookmakers. As an example, you’ll usually see a bet that says something like ’90 Minutes’ and another bet type that says ‘To Qualify’. Here’s an example of what that looks like from the William Hill website:
The information there is taken from Liverpool’s match against Manchester City in the Champions League from the 2017-2018 season and was from before the first-leg. You could bet purely on the result of that match or, even before the game was played, on the result of the overall tie because it’s a knockout competition. If you are looking to bet on the final of a knockout competition then you’ll often see a market that says something along the lines of ‘To Lift Trophy’. That’s reasonably self-explanatory, of course, with your bet being on the team that will the match and, therefore, the tournament, regardless of whether the game goes to extra-time and penalties.
The main reason it’s important to realise what it is that you’re betting on in terms of whether the bet is on ninety minutes or the overall result is that you don’t want to be celebrating a losing bet without realising it. Say, for example, that you’ve placed a bet on Brazil to win the final of the World Cup. The match could be 0-0 after ninety minutes, only for Brazil to go on and win on penalties. Your bet would be a loser if you bet on the ninety minute market as it was a draw at the end of the game, but it would be a winner if you bet on the ‘To Lift Trophy’ type market. Just make sure you bear that in mind when you’re placing your bets.
The final thing to mention, just for the avoidance of any doubt, is the ante-post market. If you place a bet well ahead of a tournament getting underway on a specific team to win the entire thing then it doesn’t matter how they win it. Say you bet on Liverpool to win the Champions League and every single knockout round ends up being decided on extra-time and penalties, including the final, then that will in no way affect your bet.
You’ve had your wager on them winning the competition, regardless of the manner in which they do it. That’s entirely different from placing a one-off bet on the final itself, which will only be a winner after extra-time and penalties if you’ve bet on the appropriate market.