FIFA extends five substitute rule into 2021 due to Covid-19

FIFA has extended the rule allowing teams to make five substitutions in matches through to 2021 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the crisis, football was suspended in much of the world from March, disrupting many international competitions and national leagues.

In May, FIFA decided to allow five substitutes, up from the regular three, when play resumed due to the congested schedules for teams. 

English Premier League side Manchester United will play five matches in 13 days, including three matches in six days, with this being up from the usual two or three in a two-week period.

The International Football Association Board Board of Directors have now looked at the impact of COVID-19 on competition calendars and has decided to extend the option to competitions scheduled to be completed by July 31, 2021.

It also takes into account international competitions scheduled in July and August 2021, such as the European Championships.

The decision was made after concerns of an increased risk of injury were raised.

There will be shorter summer breaks for teams who traditionally end their seasons in May and start again in July or August, as they are now playing through July instead.

As already implemented, a maximum of five substitutes can be made by a team, but each team only has three opportunities to make those changes.

The Spanish La Liga and the Premier League will conclude later this month, while the Italian Serie A will finish its season provisionally on August 2.

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