Teams will be able to make up to five substitutions under a Fifa proposal to help players cope with fixture congestion amid the coronavirus pandemic, the world governing body has said.
The substitutions will be allowed in a maximum of three in-play slots and at half-time to avoid unnecessary stoppages but are being proposed in recognition of the long lay-off and anticipated high volume of matches if and when games resume.
The proposal is subject to the approval of the game’s law-making body, the International Football Association Board, and competitions such as the Premier League could then decide whether to implement it.
“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,” a Fifa spokesperson said.
“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 originally foreseen calendar, Fifa proposes that a larger number of substitutions be temporarily allowed at the discretion of the relevant competition organiser.
“In competitions where less than five substitutions are currently allowed, each team would now be given the possibility to use up to five substitutions during the match, with the possibility of an additional substitution remaining during extra time, where relevant.”