International Football Association Board – The New Indian Express

Through AFP

LONDON (Reuters) – Football competitions may decide to make the initially temporary five-substitute rule permanent, the sports regulator, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) recommended on Wednesday.

“The FAP-TAP (Football and Technical Advisory Groups) today recommended that competitions can decide to increase the number of substitutes according to the needs of their football environment,” read a statement from the IFAB.

The decision to permanently change football laws came at a virtual IFAB meeting chaired by FIFA following requests from various confederations, associations and leagues. The option to use five substitutes was introduced in May 2020 to ease the pressure on players as the coronavirus pandemic shook sporting schedules and crowded fixtures lists, raising fears for the well-being of players.

Only three substitutes were previously allowed, but coaches argued that the more onerous physical demands of players competing in condensed competition formats or time periods justified the change. Earlier this year, the IFAB board extended the temporary amendment to football laws allowing domestic and international competitions to use five substitutes until December 31, 2022.

Teams can make five substitutes in UEFA competitions like the Champions League, but the English Premier League has rejected the innovation reintroduced last season. Critics had said making the change permanent would disproportionately benefit wealthier clubs with bigger squads.

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