Ahead of the 2020-21 season, Premier League clubs have voted against the use of five substitutions in games.
FIFA had brought about the rule due to the congested fixture of the recently concluded domestic season. The rule was in place for the clubs because they play every three days.
Therefore ahead of the September 12 kick-off date, only three substitutions will be allowed in the Premier League.
In line with the pre-coronavirus regulations, Premier League will only allow three substitutes each per game, while the number of players allowed on the bench will return to seven.
The decision was made on Thursday at a Premier League shareholders meeting that involved all the 20 clubs, which includes newly-promoted Leeds, West Brom, and Fulham.
Normalcy gradually returning to Premier League after the execution of Project Restart
As part of the Project Restart meant to complete last season’s fixtures after the coronavirus-enforced lockdown, the clubs voted to allow five substitutions and increase the matchday squad from 18 to 20 to help players.
However, with normalcy gradually returning and the calendar is gradually returning to its rightful place, there might not be a condensed schedule as seen after the restart. This decision is not binding on other British Leagues. For instance, the Scottish Premiership opted to go with five substitutes.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) gave leagues the opportunity to use the conditions for another season.
Decisions also made on VAR
In another development, the clubs also during the meeting approved the implementation of the video assistant referee (VAR) for the upcoming season.
The new approval is in line with the full FIFA protocol. It could be recalled that the world football’s governing body took over responsibility for VAR from IFAB late last season.
With this new protocol, officials are encouraged to use pitch-side monitors more regularly than they did in the technology’s debut campaign. Most of the time, Premier League referees had to wait for those in the VAR room to make some decisions on goals, red cards, and penalty kicks.
Also, goalkeepers leaving their lines during penalty kicks were also part of the deliberation. Last season, any form of encroachment was not accepted from goalkeepers during penalties. This gave the penalty taker another opportunity to retake whenever the goalkeeper’s foot crosses over the line.
Players as well will be adjudged to have encroached if any part of their body is on the ground inside the area or arc when a penalty is taken. Here there will be retakes if the encroaching player has “a material impact” on the outcome of the kick.
What this new rule means for officials in the top leagues means is that no tolerance for offsides and errors will be reduced to the barest minimum.
In the case of marginal offside, which has been another subject matter since the introduction of the VAR, assistant referees are encouraged to keep their flags down, and only raise them once a goal-scoring opportunity is completed.