IFAB clears path for league to take 5 subs rule into next season

Making subs

July 16 – Football’s rule-making body has given the green light for teams to continue to use up to five substitutes instead of three next season in a bid to cope with potential fixture congestion in the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The International FA Board (IFAB) says it is now up to individual leagues and competitions to decide if they wish to maintain the flexibility but crucially the rule can be used until August 2021, meaning the European Championships and Copa America can adopt it next summer.

IFAB said “player welfare” was pivotal in its decision to keep the rule.

Top leagues are not expected to start their new seasons until mid-September because of the recent knock-on effect of coronavirus

“Some competitions which resumed in 2020 may have a shorter-than-usual recovery/preparation period before the start of their next season,” said a statement.

“For many competitions, the 2020-21 season will involve matches being played in a condensed period due to a delayed start and the inability to end later than usual because of major international tournaments.”

As has been the case since the rule was implemented, teams will still only have three opportunities to make their five changes in order to minimise disruption to a game.

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