The Premier League clubs have voted against the 5 substitutions per match rule again despite the increasing demand for the reintroduction of the rule especially by big clubs in the league.
The Premier League adopted the 5 substitutions per game rule towards the end of the 2019-2020 season. When the rule was adopted, major leagues in Europe were just returning from the three months induced coronavirus break which started in mid-March and ended in June 2020.
Hence, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the lawmaking body of FIFA, approved the 5 substitutions rule because the body believes that the new rule would help clubs to deal with the impact of playing congested fixtures, a practice the coronavirus pandemic has forced on major leagues across Europe.
Recall that before the commencement of the 2020-2021 season, the Premier League clubs were allowed to vote for or against the continuation of the 5 substitutions rule. Most of the clubs went for the scraping of the rule.
Since over 14 Premier League clubs out of 20, voted against the rule, it was scrapped. The league presented the rule for voting again, yet, most of the clubs voted against it for the second time.
Hence, the league commenced the 2020-2021 season without using the five substitutions rule but continued with the regular three substitutions rule. This makes the Premier League the only major club in Europe that fail to adopt the new rule.
After IFAB agreed to extend the application of the 5 substitutions rule to June 2021, the 20 Premier League clubs met on Thursday and held an election on whether to reintroduce the rule or not. Most clubs voted against it for the third time which means that clubs in the league will not be able to make more than three substitutions per match.
However, the clubs agreed that each club in the league should be allowed to have a maximum of 9 players on the bench instead of the regular 7 players. This new rule will take effect in the league this weekend.
Meanwhile, the 20 Premier League clubs have agreed to adopt the concussion substitution which IFAB approved to commence on trial from January. The Premier League clubs are willing to allow the league to be among the leagues that will be used for the trial.
The concussion substitution will give a team that has a player that sustained a concussion during a match, the opportunity to be substituted immediately even if such a team has completed its three substitutions.
The format of the trial which the Premier League has adopted is that, both the club that has a player with a concussion and the opposing club can make an extra substitution each.
This new practice will commence officially in January 2021 and it is believed to be one of the ways to prioritize the welfare of footballers during football games.