The football community took a hit in the gut when Covid-19 forced them to either postpone or cancel all the leagues and events this season. However, the pandemic situation has finally started its downward spiral and the authorities have started to plan the football tournaments post the pandemic. In the latest events to handle the workload and fitness of the players, the associations will make temporary amendments to allow each team to field five substitutes in a game. The rule will apply to the Champions League along with all the remaining leagues that are yet to conclude. The step is expected to make the post-pandemic football an easier prospect for players as they have to finish 2020 within a very short frame.
The Champions league substitute rule will seek player welfare:
Fifa had proposed the temporary change to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in the laws which would allow the teams to field five substitutes instead of the regular three per game. As per Fifa, the rule would allow the players to ease into the game after an almost two-month-long break. FIFA also added that as the number of games will now be more in shorter span the substitute rule will give the teams a better chance to remain fit.
ESPN reported that IFAB had informed them that it will fast track the process. In the latest developments, IFAB confirmed that it has made the amendment official. IFAB released a statement which informed “The IFAB has agreed to make a temporary amendment to the Laws of the Game based on a proposal received from FIFA seeking to protect player welfare, “For competitions which have either started or are intended to start, but are scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31, 2020, the IFAB has approved FIFA’s proposal to introduce a temporary amendment to Law 3 — The Players, which will allow for a maximum of five substitutes to be made per team.”
The statement further read “The temporary amendment comes into force with immediate effect, and has 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, 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].”
The temporary change in the rulebook could prove very helpful for teams such as Manchester City who could play upto 19 games if at most. The teams participating in multiple tournaments will benefit from the decision.