May 7 – Following a recommendation last month by FIFA, football’s lawmakers are set to announce a “temporary” change to the laws allowing teams to make up to five substitutions when fixtures resume in the wake of Covid-19.
The proposal to help teams cope with likely fixture congestion in a packed calendar has been picked up by IFAB who said they were working with FIFA on a “temporary dispensation of Law 3 (The Players) allowing competitions to give teams the option to use a maximum of five substitutes on up to three occasions during the match, plus at half-time.”
Limiting the number of occasions on which teams can make changes would remove the incentive to do so purely for time-wasting purposes.
A sixth change may also be permitted in matches that go to extra time.
The IFAB’s objective is to “protect players’ health” with FIFA saying the measure will be “at the discretion of the organiser of each competition”.
Nicola Rizzoli, the Italian official who took charge of the 2014 World Cup final and is now a referee designator for Serie A, told Sky Sport Italia: “In a phase of the season with many games one after the other and in elevated temperatures, we’ll have to all take a step forward to help everyone.”
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