Premier League set to come under fresh pressure to allow five substitutes per game after football’s law making body backs proposal to make make temporary rule permanent
The Premier League will come under increased pressure to allow five substitutes per game after football’s law-making body backed a proposal for the temporary rule to become permanent.
A proposal to make the increase from three to five substitutes permanent was strongly supported at a meeting of the International FA Board (IFAB) on Wednesday.
In a statement, the IFAB said: ‘Following a number of requests from confederations, associations, leagues and other key stakeholders for this option to be introduced permanently in the Laws of the Game (2022/23 edition), FAP-TAP today recommended that competitions should be able to decide on increasing the number of substitutes according to the needs of their football environment, while the current number of substitution opportunities (three plus half-time) should stay the same.’
Premier League reverted to a maximum of three substitutions in a condensed 2020-21 season
The move would still allow competitions to opt for only three subs but it would increase pressure on the Premier League to follow suit.
The temporary rule was first introduced in May 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to allow teams to use five substitutes, instead of the standard three, to support player welfare amid a congested fixture schedule.
In May, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) said the temporary amendment will remain in place until Dec. 31, 2022, “for all top-level competitions”, with its implementation at the discretion of individual competition organisers.
Managers such as Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola voiced concerns about player fatigue
Top European leagues and UEFA’s major competitions adopted the rule after the 2019-20 season was extended into July and August, respectively, due to the pandemic.
However, the Premier League was the only top league in Europe to revert to a maximum of three substitutes in a condensed 2020-21 season, even as managers such as Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola voiced concerns about player fatigue.