As announced by FIFA today, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) has granted permission to a temporary rule change allowing teams to make five substitutions per match, instead of the usual three. FIFA had proposed this change with an eye on protecting player welfare, as matches may be played in a condensed period of time following the resumption of play. The new rule can be applied immediately across all competitions that are scheduled to be completed by 31st December 2020.
The new rule could therefore also enter into effect in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, with both leagues set to resume on 16th May. The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) has already considered adopting the new rule. “If this rule is decided upon by FIFA, then the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs will make a decision on whether to adopt this rule for a limited period,” said DFL CEO Christian Seifert.
“This temporary rule change has been introduced as matches may be played in a condensed period in different weather conditions, which could have an impact on player welfare,” FIFA announced. To avoid disruption to the game, every team will be permitted three opportunities to make a substitution during regular playing time, with changes also being allowed during half-time. However, it will be left up to the leagues and associations to determine whether or not they wish to implement this temporary rule change.
The IFAB is also permitting changes to be made to the use of the video assistant referee (VAR). Competitions that already feature VAR are permitted to cease its use upon the resumption of play, at the discretion of the competition organiser. However, in competitions where VAR is used, the previous VAR protocols will remain in place.