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Temporary ‘five substitute’ rule could be retained for entire 2020/21 season

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 July 2020

Clubs may be able to make five subs next season.     Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.com

Clubs may be able to make five subs next season. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Football’s law-makers appear set to extend the newly trialled ‘five substitute’ rule for the entirety of the 2020/21 campaign.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) introduced the temporary change in May to aid teams in leagues restarting amid the coronavirus crisis.

Clubs were left with heavily congested schedules and limited time for players to regain fitness after months on the sidelines, with the move designed to prevent injury.

Leagues could adopt the temporary rules at their own discretion, with the Premier League and EFL both opting to do so.

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It’s now being widely reported the IFAB Technical Committee will grant the power for the rule to be extended for the whole of next season, due to the likelihood of similarly congested schedules due to the late start to the campaign.

It remains to be seen whether the Premier League and EFL again opt to use the rule.

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The rule has had its critics, notably Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson who has said he believes the temporary change benefits richer clubs with deeper squads.

As things stand EFL clubs are considering two potential start dates for next season – August 29 and September 12.

The hope is for limited numbers of supporters to be able to return to stadiums by September, with social distancing rules in place.


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