Five substitutions per team allowed, while VAR may be scrapped

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has confirmed temporary rule changes as a result of the coronavirus that allows the use of five substitutes in the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and any other competition intended to finish before 31 December 2020.

The use of VAR may also be stopped for the remaining fixtures, however, every league can make a separate call for it. The reason for increasing the number of substitutes is to protect player welfare given that games in many countries will be taking place in a shorter time-frame than normal and across the hottest months of the year.

Substitutions are sometimes are seen as a way of wasting time in the dying minutes of the game. It changes the game’s intensity even more as the team that is behind that moment gets more aggressive and things get heated up.

To avoid that, there has been a limit set which is three, meaning that any team wanting to use more than three substitutions will have to make use of a double substitution or two double substitutions in the case of four players. A statement released from IFAB read, “For competitions which have either started or are intended to start but are scheduled to be completed by 31 December 2020, the IFAB has approved FIFA’s proposal to introduce a temporary amendment to Law 3 that says, a maximum of five substitutions will be allowed to be made per team.”

“However, to avoid any disruption to the game, each team will only have three opportunities to make substitutions, substitutions may also be made at half-time.” It also said that amendment comes into effect immediately as matches may be played in a condensed period in different weather conditions, both of which could have impacts on player welfare.

This decision also remains separate for each individual competition organizer. 

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