The Uefa chief of football, Zvonimir Boban, has promised that this season’s Champions League ties will not be burdened with inflated amounts of added time, describing the extra load on players as a “tragedy”.

Additional time played at the end of each half has swelled significantly in some domestic leagues so far in 2023-24, with the Premier League among those to adopt an International Football Association Board (Ifab) directive aimed at cutting out time-wasting. It has led to match durations of well over 100 minutes becoming standard and has drawn criticism from players, Kevin de Bruyne among those to warn they are essentially being asked to play extra games.

Boban pointed to those concerns when ruling out vastly extended affairs in European competition, although he did not suggest imposing any form of limit. “I can say that it’s absolutely absurd myself,” he said.

“Regarding player welfare, it’s some kind of small tragedy or big tragedy because we are adding almost 12, 13, 14 minutes, we are adding almost one half of the game which are very tough minutes to play. When you play 60, 65 minutes, when you get tired it’s the last 30 minutes of the game. And then somebody comes and adds another 15, 12, 14 minutes of the game, for what reason?

“We [the football world] are not listening to players and coaches. In England you know something even more than us because you have more games. And now we add to them, probably six, seven minutes more per game: it’s almost 500 minutes more per season. That is six games. It’s crazy. It’s too much so we will not do this. We will follow our guidelines.”

The Uefa head of referees, Roberto Rosetti, pointed out that in Champions League games last season there was more “effective playing time”, with the ball in play more than any of the continent’s major domestic leagues. The average figure was 60.07 minutes in the Champions League, with the Premier League lagging well behind on 54.46 minutes.

“We started to work on this more than five years ago,” Rosetti said. “There is something more important than the accuracy of additional time. Why do people like the Champions League so much? Because it’s intensive, it’s fantastic, the players never stop. We tell our referees to speed up the restart of play instead of this [focus] on stoppage time.”