FIFA approves five substitutions during matches

Football teams are going to be allowed to use five substitutes when play resumes after the coronavirus pandemic, the sport’s law-making body announced on Friday.

The International Football Association Board said during a statement that it had agreed to a proposal by world administration FIFA for a temporary change to the principles “to protect player welfare”.

Teams face likely fixture congestion during a packed calendar as they plan to structure for lost time when play can resume.

The lay off is predicted to possess an impression on player fitness levels too.

It also said that competitions which were using video assistant referee would be allowed to drop it for the nonce .

The change will apply to competitions scheduled to be completed by 31 December of this year, although FIFA and IFAB left open the likelihood that the amount might be extended.

While teams are going to be ready to make five substitutions, “to avoid disruption to the sport , each team will only have three opportunities to form substitutions” also as at half time or before overtime .

In competitions that allow a further substitution in overtime , teams will have a further substitution opportunity.

The previous limit on outfield substitutes for top-level competitions has been three in time period .

The IFAB said the change had been made “as matches could also be played during a condensed period in several weather , both of which could have impacts on player welfare.”

It added that “the decision on whether to use this temporary amendment will remain at the discretion of every individual competition organiser.”

It said that, along side FIFA, it “will determine at a later stage whether this temporary amendment would wish to be extended further.

That means the measure might be maintained for the entire of the 2020-21 season and throughout to subsequent European Championship, which was postponed by a year until June and July 2021 due to the pandemic.

“If the measure remains effective , UEFA could then adopt it for the Euro,” a source said.

It remains to be seen if the measure might be left in situ permanently, but doing so may play into the hands of the wealthiest clubs with the most important squads and greatest strength thorough.

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