The International Football Association Board’s Football and Technical Advisory Panels have recommended five substitutions be implemented on a permanent basis in football.
During a virtual meeting on Wednesday and following a number of requests from confederations, associations, leagues and other key stakeholders to bring in five substitutions permanently, the advisory panels have made the suggestion.
An IFAB statement read: “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.”
An increase to five substitutions was introduced on a temporary basis in May 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the congested fixture list once football returned.
Earlier in May of this year it was extended for a further 18 months, but the Premier League decided against using it for the 2020-21 campaign and reverted back to three substitutions which remains the case for the current season.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp have remained vocal critics of the move to not stick with five changes, especially with it being used in European competitions in addition to the Carabao Cup and FA Cup in England.
Guardiola has continually described it as “ridiculous” that England was the only country that was still limited to just three substitutes.
Speaking previously on the subject, he said: “It is not about one club, there are statistics that you cannot deny.
“Premier League players have 47 per cent more muscular injuries than the previous season due to a lack of preparation, and the amount of games.
“All the other leagues – Germany, Spain, have five substitutions to protect the players, not to one team or one set of players.
“Because of the pandemic, the reality now is completely different and we have to readjust and intelligent people adjust.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has also been an advocate for five subs, stating last year: “It’s not an advantage, it’s a necessity. 100 per cent.
“In all other countries it happens and here we make a bit more fun of the competition by having only three subs. That is really incredible, so we have to talk again.”
Other topics discussed during IFAB’s advisory panel meeting were clarification over the next edition of the laws of the game, namely to confirm that a goalkeeper must be on the goal line before a penalty is taken.