FIFA Propose Use of 5 Substitutes to Help With Fixture Congestion When Football Returns

FIFA have proposed allowing teams to use five substitutes when football returns in an attempt to reduce the impact of a congested fixture list.

Leagues across Europe are all keen to finish the season as soon as possible in an attempt to avoid impacting the start of the 2020/21 campaign, which will likely mean playing a number of games over a short period of time.

There have been suggestions that teams may have to play once every three or four days over a number of weeks, which would obviously put players at higher risk of picking up an injury. So, in an attempt to make life easier, FIFA have confirmed (via Sky Sports News) that plans to allow five substitutes have been discussed.

"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 spokesperson said.

"Safety of the players is one of FIFA's main priorities. 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."

Should these regulations be approved, they would also apply to the 2020/21 campaign and any international matches until the end of next year, including at Euro 2020, which is set to take place in the summer of 2021.

BBC Sport add that it is expected that the International Football Association Board will likely be in favour of implementing the ruling as it is something which has been previously discussed as a method of keeping players healthy.

No official decisions have been made about when leagues will be permitted to return, with various governments still discussing potential return plans, but the hope is that leagues across Europe will all be finished by the end of July.

Source : 90min