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Five substitutions to be allowed next season, football lawmakers decide

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The IFAB has extended special rules that allow five substitutions

Manchester United v Leeds United - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

The International Football Association Board has announced that rule changes allowing five substitutions currently in place will be extended to next season. It is up to individual countries’ associations whether they will allow five substitutions or allow only the traditional three.

The rule allowing five substitutions was implemented as a way to deal with games being played more often and in different weather conditions, due to the delay in matches caused by the coronavirus break,

IFAB said: “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 based on stakeholder feedback and analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on competition calendars, The IFAB Board of Directors has approved to extend the option to competitions scheduled to be completed by 31 July 2021 and international competitions scheduled in July/August 2021.”

Some well known former footballers and pundits took to Twitter to urge their respective associations to reject the rule change and maintain three substitutions as the norm.