Tuesday, December 7, 2021
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Five substitutions rule become permanent after IFAB’s proposal

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On Wednesday, soccer’s governing body proposed that competition organizers have the option of allowing clubs to use up to five substitutions every game.

The Football and Technical Advisory Panels (FAP-TAP) of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) stated that competition organizers would be in charge of applying the rule.

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The temporary regulation was originally implemented in May 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing clubs to employ five substitutes instead of the regular three in order to support player welfare during a busy match calendar.

Following a “number of requests” from confederations, associations, leagues, and other stakeholders, the panels backed a proposal to alter the Laws of the Game to make the choice permanent.

In May, the International Federation of Athletics Boards (IFAB) gave competition organizers the option of enabling teams to use up to five substitutions per game until the end of 2022. After the 2019-20 season was extended into July and August, respectively, due to the pandemic, top European leagues and UEFA’s key events implemented the norm.

Even when managers like Juergen Klopp and Pep Guardiola expressed worries about player weariness, the Premier League was the only major league in Europe to resort to a maximum of three substitutions in a compressed 2020-21 season.

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