World football governing body Fifa has amended football rules regarding substitutions.
Each team will be allowed a maximum of five substitutions, including two at half time breaks, according to the new rules.
This, however, is a short time change adopted by the International Football Association Board (Ifab) ahead of resumption of football competitions across the world following the break occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ifab made the temporary amendment to the laws of the game based on a proposal received from Fifa in a bid to protect the players’ welfare.
Most clubs and players have not been training together and with leagues expected to resume in weeks.
For competitions which have either started or are intended to begin, but are scheduled to be completed by 31 December 2020, the Ifab has approved Fifa’s proposal to introduce a temporary amendment to Law 3, which will allow a maximum of five substitutions per team.
However, to avoid disruption to the game, each team will only have three opportunities to make substitutions; including at half-time.
The temporary amendment comes into force immediately. Matches may be played in a shortened period in different weather conditions which could impact negatively on player’s welfare.
The decision on whether to apply this temporary amendment will remain at the discretion of each individual competition organizer, while The Ifab and Fifa will determine at a later stage whether this amendment would be extended (e.g. for competitions due to be completed in 2021).
The amendment to Law 3 affects both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 Laws of the Game, with the latter coming into effect as from 1 June 2020.
In relation to competitions in which the video assistant referee (VAR) system is implemented, these competitions are permitted to cease its use upon restart at the discretion of each individual competition organizer. However, where VAR is used, all aspects of the Laws of the Game and, by extension, the VAR protocol will remain in place.
Law 3 –Temporary amendment in summary:
- 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.
Additional reporting by ifba.com