The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has approved a temporary amendment to the Laws of the Game (LOTG), specifically Law 3 – The Players following the proposal of the Federation International Football Association (FIFA) in relation to the maximum number of permitted substitutions for football competitions scheduled to be completed in 2020.
The amendment comes after the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted football competitions around the world and to protect players’ welfare upon resumption of play.
The temporary amendment to Law 3 states that:
- Each team will be permitted to use a maximum of five substitutes
- To reduce disruption of matches, each team will have a maximum of three opportunities to make substitutions during the game; substitutions may also be made at half-time.
- If both teams makes a substitution at the same time, this will count as one of the three opportunities for each team.
- Unused substitutions and opportunities are carried forward into extra-time.
- Where competition rules allow an additional substitution in extra-time, teams will each have one additional substitution opportunity; substitutions may also be made before the start of extra-time and at half-time of extra-time.
NB: the use of return substitutes is not an option for senior competitions.
The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has already informed the Philippines Football League (PFL) and its participating clubs on the implementation of the amendment to the LOTG.
The PFF and PFL are preparing the guidelines, following best practices in the matter, on the health and safety measures that need to be implemented in the event that PFL, and other football competitions are allowed to resume this year.