Premier League: FIFA propose change in Substitution rule

FIFA have pushed forward a proposal to allow five substitutions in matches, if and when seasons resume following the current suspension amid the coronavirus crisis

Premier League FIFA propose change in Substitution rule
Premier League FIFA propose change in Substitution rule

FIFA have proposed a rule change that would enable Premier League clubs to make five substitutions in a match, and this change would also apply next season.

The proposal would be subjected to the approval of the game’s law-making body the International Football Association Board (IFAB), as the temporary change needs IFAB approval to go ahead. The proposed move to help players returning to action amid the coronavirus pandemic.

These substitutions will be allowed in a maximum of three slots, plus during the half-time interval. This would help to avoid unnecessary stoppages, but are being proposed in recognition of the long lay-off that players have had due to competitions being suspended, and the anticipated high volume of matches when Premier League matches potentially resumes.

It is hoped the temporary rule change will reduce the number of players – not match-fit and facing a congested fixture schedule – picking up injuries.

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.

Safety of the players is one of FIFA’s main priorities 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 initially foreseen calendar, FIFA proposes that a larger number of substitutions be temporarily allowed at the discretion of the relevant competition organiser.

FIFA Spokesman