FIFA have confirmed a major rule change in order to cope for the potential fixture congestion when football returns after the coronavirus pandemic.
With several leagues across the world taking action from Belgium, France and the Netherlands ending their campaigns, to the Bundesliga and Serie A preparing for potentially finishing the season, FIFA and the International Football Association Board (IFAB) have taken swift action.
Each team will have three opportunities to make five substitutions, excluding half-time, in an amendment which comes into play immediately for competitions which start and finish before the end of 2020.
However, the respective leagues around the world will have the final say on whether or not the new rules will be adopted.
A FIFA statement said: “The decision on whether to apply this temporary amendment will remain at the discretion of each individual competition organiser, while The IFAB and FIFA will determine at a later stage whether this temporary amendment would need to be extended further (e.g. for competitions due to be completed in 2021).”
If both teams make a substitution at the same time, this will count as one of three opportunities for both sides, while in the event of extra-time, unused changes will be carried over.
Meanwhile, FIFA announced the controversial video assistant referee system that came into force in the Premier League this season could be ditched ‘at the discretion of each individual competition organiser.’
“However, where VAR is used, all aspects of the laws of the game and, by extension, the VAR protocol will remain in place.”