Five substitutes per match as soon as competitions resume

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The International Football Association Board (IFAB) and FIFA authorized the transition from three to five substitutes per match on Friday to protect players, an interim measure applicable as soon as the resumption of competitions suspended because of the coronavirus, according to a joint statement from the two entities.

This amendment to Law 3 of the game, which comes “into force immediately”, will apply to competitions which will end at the end of December, provided that the organizers adopt it.

IFAB and FIFA state that they will “determine later” whether this option can be extended until the end of 2021, and therefore apply during the Euro, postponed from 2020 to 2021.

The aim of this amendment to the rules of the game is to help teams “cope with a condensed calendar and different weather conditions, two elements which can have an impact on the well-being of players”, they added.

In addition, a 6th replacement will be possible during the extension.

The move to five replacements should take effect immediately in Germany, where the Bundesliga will resume in camera on May 16, the German Football League (DFL) said on Thursday to help reduce the risk of injury after two months of complete cessation of competition.

Substitutions may be made in three interruptions of play, as well as at half-time, in order to avoid “disturbing the course of the match too much”.

FIFA and IFAB have also given the organizers the freedom to not use Video Arbitration Assistance (VAR) when competitions are resumed.