5 substitutes in football matches allowed on a permanent basis

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The measure was introduced in May 2020 so that teams can better cope with the busy schedule when football resumes following a suspension due to the coronavirus

The temporary decision to give teams the option of making five substitutions per game instead of three should take effect permanently, football lawmakers have recommended.

The measure was introduced in May 2020 so that teams can better cope with the busy schedule when football resumes following a suspension due to the coronavirus. In May, it was extended for another 18 months, until the end of 2022, when the World Cup in Qatar will be over.

The International Football Association Board advisory committee said there had been “a number of requests from confederations, associations, leagues and other key stakeholders to have this option introduced on a permanent basis.” . Competitions can decide whether they wish to increase the number of substitutes from three to five “depending on the needs of their football environment,” reads an IFAB statement following a virtual meeting chaired by FIFA.

The Premier League was one of the few leagues to decide not to use five substitutions for the 2020-21 campaign, falling instead to three. This remains the case for the current season after the clubs vote on the matter.

The IFAB also recommended that the current number of substitute opportunities – three, as well as at halftime – remain the same.


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