October 12 – The AFC Asian Cup to be played in the UAE in January next year will introduce the fourth substitution rule in extra time. It will be the first application of the rule by any of the world’s confederations for a senior national team tournament.
The rule was passed in March by the International FA Board after a detailed study and a two-year experiment, and was introduced at the World Cup. UEF has said that clubs who reach the knockout stages of the Champions League and Europa League and other elite competitions will now be allowed to make a fourth substitution if the match goes into extra time.
The AFC will bring the new rule into force during the upcoming AFC U-19 Championship which will take place in Indonesia next week from October 18 to November 4, 2018 as well as the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship 2019 and the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020.
The AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 is making history on a number of fronts, being the first time the competition has been expanded to a 24-team format.
AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said: “The entire Continent is eagerly awaiting Asia’s most prestigious tournament and it is, therefore, essential that the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 adopts the latest regulations as we strive to stage a truly unforgettable spectacle.
“I am confident the new regulations will add to the excitement of Asia’s flagship national team competition and further strengthen the AFC’s ambitions to be the world’s leading Confederation.”
The AFC Asian Cup is the second-oldest continental football championship (after the Copa America) and was first held in 1956. The 2019 tournament will see 51 matches played in eight stadiums in four host cities – Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. This is the second time the UAE has hosted the event, after successfully staging the finals in 1996.
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