IFAB permits five substitutions per team post-COVID-19 return


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The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international governing body of association football, recently proposed a few changes to the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which is responsible for the laws of the game.

IFAB has accepted FIFA’s proposal, and as per the new changes, teams will be allowed to make five substitutions per match as they resume action from the coronavirus-enforced break.

In addition, teams will be provided with three opportunities during matches to make their substitutions – as well as half-time – in a bid to prevent unnecessary stoppages. 

IFAB’s rule change not mandatory

The rule change is immediate but not mandatory. It is up to the individual competitions whether they wish to adopt it. It could be used in the Bundesliga, with the German league scheduled to resume behind closed doors on 16th of the month.

The Spanish La Liga, which is scheduled to resume next month, has also agreed to use five substitutes for the remainder of the season.

According to IFAB, the amendment will currently apply to the competitions which are scheduled to finish before the end of the year. IFAB further said that a review will be conducted at a “later stage” over whether to carry the rules into the next season.

VAR technology stopped

In another decision, the IFAB, allowed the competitions to stop using the VAR technology, if and when they resume season.

Notably, Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology is the latest technology used in the football to help the referees in taking the right decisions regarding the award of goal, penalty, corners and red cards.

However, the Premier League is yet to discuss the rule changes with the clubs and there is no indication that they wish to stop using VAR for the rest of the season.

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