The world football governing body, FIFA, has announced that the new five substitute rule will remain in place until the end of the 2020-21 football season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In May, 2020, FIFA had allowed teams to effect up to five substitutions per match to help players cope with added burden amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to FIFA, the changing impact of the pandemic on football will be kept under constant review to ensure appropriate action is taken in the future in relation to this temporary amendment.
Reads part of the statement: “Following the decision taken on 8 May 2020 to give competitions scheduled to be completed in 2020 the option of allowing teams to use up to five substitutes, The IFAB Board of Directors had agreed to review whether to extend this option further.
“On the basis of this in-depth review, which included stakeholder feedback and an analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on competition calendars, the IFAB Board of Directors has extended the option to competitions scheduled to be completed by 31 July 2021 and to international competitions scheduled in July/August 2021.”
There are no changes to the details of the temporary amendment to the Laws of the Game, which will allow for a maximum of five substitutes to be used per team.
FIFA has further highlighted that the decision on whether to apply this temporary amendment remains at the discretion of each competition organizer.
However, to avoid disruption to the game, each team will only have three opportunities to make substitutions, although substitutions made at half-time are not counted as one of the three opportunities.
While football activities have been resumed in other countries, Malawi’s soccer remains on lock-down.