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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 23 September 2020
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Five substitutes option extended to next season

The IFAB Board says each league will have to decide if they want to continue the recently introduced rule.

Man City manager Pep Guardiola giving Phil Foden instructions before his introduction.
Man City manager Pep Guardiola giving Phil Foden instructions before his introduction.
Image: Will Oliver

FIFA HAS ANNOUNCED that the option of using the five-substitute rule will be open to competitions for the 2020-21 season.

The measure, designed to help manage player workloads in seasons affected by the coronavirus pandemic, initially covered competitions finishing in 2020.

The directors of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) have now extended the amendment to the laws of the game to cover league competitions ending on or before 31 July, 2021, and to international competitions scheduled for July and August of the same year.

Premier League clubs and the various other leagues will need to decide whether to allow teams to use five substitutes per match next season.

“The main reason for the temporary amendment to Law 3 – The Players was the impact on player welfare of competitions being played in a condensed period and in different weather conditions,” the statement reads.

“The recent review has shown that the reasons for the temporary amendment remain valid and the impact on player welfare is likely to continue into 2021 due to various factors, including:

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

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