According to FIFA, teams will be able to make up to five substitutes under a new proposal to help cope with the return to action amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The substitutions will be allowed at a maximum of three slots plus the half-time interval to avoid unnecessary stoppages, but are being proposed in recognition of the anticipated high volume of matches when and if play resumes.
The proposal is subject to the approval of the game's law-making body the International Football Association Board, and it is then at the discretion of individual competitions whether or not to implement it.
“When competitions resume, such competitions are likely to face a congested match calendar with a higher-than-normal frequency of matches played in consecutive weeks,” a the world governing body spokesperson said.
“Safety of the players is one of FIFA's main priority then. One concern in this regard is that the higher-than-normal frequency of matches may increase the risk of potential injuries due to a resulting player overload.
“In light of this and in light of the unique challenge faced globally in delivering competitions according to the originally foreseen calendar, FIFA proposes that a larger number of substitutions be temporarily allowed at the discretion of the relevant competition organiser.
“In competitions where less than five substitutions are currently allowed, each team would now be given the possibility to use up to five substitutions during the match, with the possibility of an additional substitution remaining during extra time, where relevant.”
The temporary dispensation on substitutes would apply to competitions which are either due to be completed or start in 2020 or 2021, so it would also apply to the 2020-21 season.
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It will also cover all national team matches up to and including 31 December, 2021.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 years ago