After football’s rule-making body extended the privilege to employ five substitutes each match until the end of 2022, teams in the World Cup in Qatar will be entitled to do so. After the International Football Association Board (IFAB) voted to prolong the temporary regulation, Premier League managers are expected to re-instigate the heated argument over whether to allow five substitutes in a match.
The strategy, which was implemented in May of last year to help clubs and players cope with the increased demands of the football schedule as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, was used by almost all major European leagues. The decision was made after a global study of Covid-19’s continued influence on sport, as well as comments from numerous key stakeholders from across the football community, according to the IFAB.
Despite the IFAB rule, the Premier League refused to accept the five-substitute provision, a contentious topic that pitched team managers against one another. Amid increasing pressure from the Premier League’s largest clubs, the FA, and the Professional Footballers’ Association, managers in England’s top division voted down the plan three times. Acceptance of the regulation requires the agreement of a majority of 14 Premier League managers, with the most recent vote in December ending in a 10-10 tie.
When the Premier League resumed play after the national lockout last season, five changes were allowed to relieve the load on players as matches came thick and fast. However, Premier League teams voted in August and September against extending the five-substitution limit, with each voting apparently ending 11-9 against.
Managers of relegation-threatened clubs argue that the shift to five substitutes is unfair since those with greater resources and depth would be able to bring on more of their key players.
“Five subs is not for tactics, it’s to save the players.” “It is for all players,” IFAB stated. They also stated that they will continue to assess the pandemic’s effects on football and consult with its stakeholders on this critical welfare issue.