Five-substitute option set to become permanent in football
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has recommended a proposal to make the increase from three to five substitutes per game permanent.
The Premier League did bring in the change during the first pandemic campaign, but they’ve since reverted to three substitutions, despite calls from managers to stick with five changes. The likes of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola were advocates for accepting the permanent change, but other clubs believed this gave those with stronger squads an unfair advantage.
However, the proposal is now set to go to the IFAB’s business meeting next month and could be rubber-stamped at the annual general meeting in March.
It would put increased pressure on the Premier League to adopt the practice which is now widespread in the rest of Europe as well as the Champions League and Europa League. Despite the rule change, individual competitions would still be allowed to opt for three substitutions. That’s what the Premier League is currently doing, so they could continue to do so even after the change is made permanent.