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From now on always five changes instead of three, also in Belgium

Substitutions to rest players with many matches on the counter should be possible with this rule more often

Substitutions to rest players with many matches on the counter should be possible with this rule more often † © Action Images via Reuters

Five points will no longer be the exception, but the norm. The measure was introduced during the corona pandemic to temporarily protect players against overload. Now that temporary measure – after having been extended several times – is definitively included in the rules of the game, also in Belgium.

Jochen Henrioulle

The expansion from three to five substitutions was finally anchored in the football rules after approval by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), FIFA’s body that determines the rules of the game in football. That approval came on the advice of former players and referees who are part of the IFAB, but also “because of strong support from the international football community.”

Protect players’ wellbeing.

The measure was introduced in May 2020 to protect the well-being of players. By allowing more substitutions, players have to play full matches less often and can rest more. However, the rule that the game may only be paused three times for substitutions remains in effect. Including halftime, the clubs have four substitution options to substitute five players.

Also in Belgium, teams will be allowed to make five substitutions. The Supreme Court of the KBVB decided on this earlier. That measure will apply to the Pro League, Scooore Super League, 1B Pro League and Croky Cup. In overtime in the Croky Cup, a sixth player may even come in.

As FIFA President, Gianni Infantino is also a central figure at IFAB

As FIFA President, Gianni Infantino is also a central figure at IFAB † © AFP

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