After much speculation, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) have confirmed that they’ve extended the five substitutes rule until the end of the 2020/21 season. The rule was announced before teams restarted action in order to help protect players from a congested schedule.
With rumours that the International Football Association Board (IFAB) were set to extend the five substitutes law, reports indicated that the Premier League had clubs opposing that rule. The likes of Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Sheffield United and West Ham have reportedly opposed to the rule with them concerned about the level of quality across teams sitting higher up on the table. But, while the measure was designed to help manage a player’s workloads until 2020, the rule has now been extended until the end of the 2020/21 season.
A statement from the IFAB confirmed that it will be extended for league and international competitions until July 31st and the statement revealed that the “main reason for the temporary amendment to Law 3” was to ensure player welfare and to help clubs deal with various weather conditions. The statement also added that the decision was made by the IFAB’s board of directors after an in-depth analysis of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the game.
"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,” reads the statement from IFAB.
"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. The main reason for the temporary amendment to Law 3 - The Players was the impact on player welfare of competitions being played in a condensed period and in different weather conditions. The recent review has shown that the reasons for the temporary amendment remain valid and the impact on player welfare is likely to continue into 2021."