The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has accepted FIFA’s proposal to use five substitutes when football leagues resume.

It is a temporary change to the rules “to protect player welfare” during the packed calendar,” AFP reported on Friday.

The change will apply to competitions scheduled to be completed by Dec 31 but FIFA and IFAB have left open the possibility that the period could be extended. If the temporary changes need to be extended further it could be maintained for the whole of 2020-2021 season.

Football leagues throughout the world came to a standstill due to the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic. Some leagues have been called off while most leagues are expected to resume soon with most of them played to empty stadiums.

The congested fixtures are to make up for the lost time but the long layoff due to the coronavirus is bound to have an impact on a player’s fitness level.

The report further added that “to avoid disruption to the game each team will only have three opportunities to make substitutions at halftime or before extra time. The previous limit on outfield substitutes for top-level competitions has been three in regulation time.

In competitions that allow an additional substitution in extra time teams will have an additional substitute opportunity. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH 

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