The body was decided accordingly by the International Board, so this measure that was taken after the pandemic recess will continue for another year.
The world of soccer met this Wednesday a momentous decision that affects the number of substitutes and the changes in the next season. The International Board and FIFA made official that the five modifications and the calls for 23 players will remain until June 2021.
In other words, the measures that were adopted due to the coronavirus crisis and that impacted on the development of the matches will continue in force next season.
The official statement
The option of the five substitutes, extended until 2021 by COVID-19
Following the decision made on May 8 to offer competitions ending in 2020 the possibility of allowing the use of up to five substitutes per team and match, the IFAB board of directors had agreed to assess the extension of this possibility. After carrying out an exhaustive evaluation – for which there were comments from different interest groups and an analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on competition schedules – the IFAB Board of Directors has decided to extend this option to the competitions that will conclude before July 31, 2021 and the international competitions that will be held in July / August of that same year.
The main reason for this transitory change in «Rule 3. The players» was to protect their health in circumstances that force them to play the competition in condensed periods and in different weather conditions than usual. This assessment has confirmed that the initial reasons that led to the adoption of the aforementioned transitional amendment are still valid; therefore, the protection of the health of footballers will continue to be a priority until 2021 due to different factors, including the following:
Some of the competitions restarted in 2020 will have less time than usual for recovery or preparation before the start of the following season.
Many competitions will have to play matches of the 2020/21 season in concentrated periods due to having had to start late without being able to finish later than normal due to the dispute of important international tournaments.
No change has been included in the formulation of the aforementioned transitory modification of the Laws of the Game that allows the use of up to five substitutes per team. However, and to affect the development of the match as little as possible, the teams will only have three opportunities or different moments during the match to make the substitutions, although those made during the break are not counted as one of the three opportunities mentioned.
The competition organizer will continue to have the last word in deciding whether to apply this transitional amendment.
In order to ensure that the most appropriate measures are taken in the future with regard to this transitional change, we will closely monitor the evolution of the current pandemic and its repercussions on football.
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