What Does Full Time (FT) Mean In Soccer?

This is funny but we all know that no sports game lasts forever and this is a no-brainer. 

Every sports game has a stipulated time to last after which the game comes to an official end. This is applicable to all sports and the very popular sport known as soccer is not an exception.

Once a soccer game comes to end, viewers are always treated to a scoreboard on the screen that indicates the final result of the game and all this culminates in full time or FT depending on the preference of the channel showing the game.

Now the question for newbies is this; What Does Full Time (FT) Mean in Soccer? 

In this article, we will be throwing more light on the concept of FT in soccer or better still Full Time in soccer, and what the acronym entails in the round leather game.

READ: Carlos Vela Net Worth, Salary, Bio, And More

What Does FT (Full Time) Mean In Soccer?

In soccer, FT or Full Time is the official end of the game and it comes into play when the designated period for which the game should be played has run out. At this point, the referee will blow their whistle to signal the end of the game. 

My guess is that you’ve probably seen the term “FT” alongside a visual presenting the results of a soccer game as indicated earlier. 

Full Time In Soccer Means That The Game has Ended

While there is no official description or definition of terminology in soccer, “full-time” refers to the end of the game when the players are unable to contribute any further to the game. 

This can happen after 90 minutes or after extra time and penalties if they occur during the game. The term “full time” was most likely coined in reference to the term “half-time.” 

Half-time in a soccer game is the 15-minute interval that occurs after 45 minutes of play. 

Half-time, as the name suggests, occurs halfway through the game! It occurs after the end of each 45 minutes of action. Remember, there are just two 45-minute halves in a competitive soccer game.

A soccer game doesn’t end at half time. It only means that players can go for a break before they commence the second half of action. 

READ: How Long is Extra Time in Soccer?

It is after the second half of action that the term Full Time or FT comes into play. This would be the case if the result at the end of the 90 minutes plus added time would suffice. 

Meanwhile, in as much as a soccer game has been designated to last for 90 minutes by FIFA, there are cases where events on the pitch can result in the addition of extra minutes to the game even after the 90, and they are known as added time.

Here are possible scenarios that would result in a game lasting for way over the 90th-minute mark:

  • Medical stoppages – These stoppages were created for matches played in scorching weather, where the players need to stop to cool down a bit and drink some water. Ideally, games in this weather should be avoided, but in some regions at a particular time of the year is impossible to do so. We’ve seen more of these in COVID times.
  • Substitutions – Any player substitution made during a stoppage of the game.
  • Time Wasting – A player who deliberately delays the restart of the game after a throw-in, a corner kick, a goal kick, or a free kick. 

READ: How long is a soccer game?

  • Player Injuries – The time lost waiting for the medical team to reach the injured player, and the time spent in removing them from the field. 
  • Disciplinary Sanctions During The Game– The time spent when a player is shown a yellow or a red card. Disciplining the players usually doesn’t take much time. However, the arguments after the cards are brandished can be time-consuming.
  • VAR checks and reviews –  Soccer leagues and officials are still getting used to VAR technology, and sometimes it takes forever to reach a decision. Regardless, it has been observed that the time stopped for VAR reviews is never added entirely when regular time ends. 
  • Other Factors– The rules try to cover every possible aspect of time delay. Other delays include goal celebrations, fans invading the pitch, arguments with the coaches, and so forth. 

How Long Is FT (Full Time) in Soccer?

This should be a no-brainer question for fans of the game but not for newbies and thus should be answered. 

Before we proceed, it should be noted that the duration of the game would exceed 90 minutes if both the added time and the official duration of the game are combined. 

Let’s say after 45 minutes of action, an extra 4 minutes is added, and the same is done before the blast of the full-time whistle. This would be 45 + 4 + 45 + 4 and the answer in 98 minutes. Just wanted you to be aware of this fact before we proceed. 

Regardless, the standard for this question is 90 minutes. 45 + 45 of action in the first half and second half give this answer.

READ: The Best Football Predictions For Today  

Why Do Soccer Games Exceed 90 Minutes?

Soccer games end up lasting more than 90 minutes to compensate for the wasted time during the game. 

A few minutes before full time, the ref communicates to the fourth official how many minutes of added time that match will have. The official will then raise the electric sign indicating how many minutes of injury time the teams must play. 

The added time must contemplate the number of minutes the game was stopped due to unnecessary time-wasting behavior. 

For some reason, referees never add the time they should. It is usual to watch soccer games where there are multiple substitutions, VAR reviews, arguments, and more, and the ref adds three or four minutes, while the added time should be way superior to that. 

There are also cases where the added time does not elapse before the whistle goes off and also where no time is added at all. 

READ: The Best Soccer Streaming Websites 

The latter is very common in a game where one of the sides is being mercilessly pummeled. A game where one side is losing about 7 nil before the 90th minute would have no added time on several occasions.

Does Full Time Include Extra Time?

The answer is No. Officially, FT refers to the standard stipulated duration of 90 minutes that a professional soccer game should last. Extra time, on the other hand, comprises two halves of 15 minutes each after 90 minutes of Full Time has elapsed.

You’d see the extra time come into play in major tournaments where a winner must emerge or where one side must progress to the next stage. 

A draw wouldn’t suffice in this situation such as in the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League Knockout stages, and other major tournaments.

Meanwhile, extra time halves have breaks in between. However, in this break, teams will not go to the locker room but will switch sides on the pitch immediately and continue playing. This is where extra-time breaks and full-time breaks differ.

READ: Why Do Soccer Players Fake Injuries?

Final Words 

What is Full Time (FT) in Soccer? Hopefully, we have provided you with a thorough answer to this question in this article. Soccer players won’t go on playing a single game forever. 

The sport has a stipulated game time that must be adhered to in individual games and it lasts for 90 minutes. Once the referee’s final whistle goes off after the 90th-minute mark, then the game has ended and FT or Full Time is said to have occurred.

However, there are tournaments or games where a winner must be decided and this is where the concept of extra time in soccer comes in. 

Do well to know that extra time is different from full time and that the result after full time could differ from the result after extra time has elapsed.