Football Teams Can Now Make 5 Substitutions per Match, Thanks to COVID-19

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The lawmaking body of FIFA, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) has approved FIFA’s proposal which allows teams to make a maximum of 5 substitutions per match.

FIFA has been looking for ways to make football run seamlessly amid the coronavirus pandemic which has halted football since March. It has proposed and made a couple of changes in its lawbooks in order to minimize the negative impact the pandemic has on football.

One of such changes was to increase the number of substitution a team is allowed to make from the usual three substitutions per match to 5 substitutions per match. The new law is a temporary amendment to the lawbooks of the world football governing body which is applicable to any match played within 2020.

FIFA decided to come up with this proposal to help teams, especially football clubs that will have a tight run of games to cope with the burden of playing high number of games in short intervals. Though it is not compulsory for organisers of football tournaments across the world to adopt the temporal amendment, clubs that are looking forward to the restate of the 2019-2020 season won’t mind having such a law in place.

FIFA Could Extend Teams’ 5 substitutions per match Until 2021

FIFA Could Extend Teams' 5 substitutions per match Until 20201
FIFA president Gianni Infantino

While announcing that FIFA‘s proposal has been approved by the lawmaking body, IFAB said in a statement that the new law will only be effective from now until December 31st, 2020. The association, however, noted that the law might be extended further.

“For competitions which have either started or are intended to start, but are scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31 2020, the IFAB has approved FIFA‘s proposal to introduce a temporary amendment to Law 3 — The Players, which will allow for a maximum of five substitutes to be made per team”, the statement said.

“The temporary amendment comes into force with immediate effect and has been made as matches may be played in a condensed period in different weather conditions, both of which could have impacts on player welfare.

“The decision on whether to apply this temporary amendment will remain at the discretion of each individual competition organiser, while The IFAB and FIFA will determine at a later stage whether this temporary amendment would need to be extended further [e.g. for competitions due to be completed in 2021].”