Football’s rulemakers have announced a temporary introduction of five substitutes per game as governing bodies prepare to resume domestic leagues across the world.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) have agreed to increase the number of substitutes for competitions which have either started or are intended to start, but are scheduled to be completed by the end of the calendar year.
The temporary measures come in with immediate effect and have been placed in a bid to protect player welfare, with matches set to be played over a congested schedule as league’s attempt to resume following the suspension of the sport amid the coronavirus crisis.
Any decision on whether to utilise the amendment is at the discretion of individual competitions, whilst the IFAB will also decide whether the rule change needs to be extended past the current December 31 date.
Despite the increased number of substitutes allowed, however, each side will only be allowed three opportunities – excluding half-time – to make changes in an attempt to prevent excessive disruption to matches.
The full amendment, as per theifab.com, is as follows:
– Each team will be permitted to use a maximum of five substitutes.
– To reduce disruption to the match, each team will have a maximum of three opportunities to make substitutions during the game; substitutions may also be made at half-time.
– If both teams make a substitution at the same time, this will count as one of the three opportunities for each team.
– Unused substitutions and opportunities are carried forward into extra time.
– Where competition rules allow an additional substitution in extra time, teams will each have one additional substitution opportunity; substitutions may also be made before the start of extra time and at half-time in extra time.
The use of return substitutes is not an option for senior competitions.