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FIFA releases post coronavirus match guideline, approves five substitutions during game

By NewsDesk, with Agency reports

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has disclosed that it had, alongside the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) approved a temporary rule to allow football teams use five substitutes when play resumes after the coronavirus pandemic.

It explained that the agreement was reached following the world football governing football body, FIFA’s proposal for a temporary change to the game’s rule and that such tweaking was to protect the players’ welfare when football resumes.

The sport’s law-making body which announced the temporary rule through a statement on Friday said it had accepted the new rule in putting the right measures in place having understood that when football resumes, the packed calendar and fixture congestion for teams may take it toll on the players.

It added that lost time in action and lay off occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic is also expected to have an impact on player fitness levels, thus necessitating the adjustment, adding that competitions which were using video assistant referee would be allowed to drop it for the time being.

The change will apply to competitions scheduled to be completed by 31 December of this year, although FIFA and IFAB left open the possibility that the period could be extended.

While teams will be able to make five substitutions, “to avoid disruption to the game, each team will only have three opportunities to make substitutions” as well as at half time or before extra time.

It added that though the previous limit on outfield substitutes for top-level competitions has been three in regulation time, teams will have an additional substitution opportunity in competitions that allow an additional substitution in extra time.

“The change had been made as matches may be played in a condensed period in different weather conditions, both of which could have impacts on player welfare. The decision on whether to apply this temporary amendment will remain at the discretion of each individual competition organizer. FIFA and IFAB will determine at a later stage whether this temporary amendment would need to be extended further,” the statement said.

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