GENEVA – With soccer facing a congested program of games caused by the coronavirus pandemic, FIFA wants to let teams use five substitutes.
FIFA detailed a temporary plan Monday to help prevent more injuries due to “potential player overload” as soccer competitions catch up with a backlog.
The proposal gives competition organizers the option of letting teams use five substitutes instead of three in 90 minutes, and a sixth in knockout games that go to extra time.
“One concern in this regard is that the higher-than-normal frequency of matches may increase the risk of potential injuries due to a resulting player overload,” FIFA said in a statement.
Clubs such as Manchester City face an intense program in three competitions if games can safely restart in the coming weeks.
City could have 19 more games — 10 in the Premier League, up to six in the Champions League and up to three in the FA Cup — being scheduled in as few as 10 weeks through August.
Juventus could need 20 more: 12 in Serie A, up to six in the Champions League, and two Coppa Italia games.
The proposal must be signed off by soccer’s rule-making panel, known as IFAB. Teams would still be limited to three stoppages of play to make the changes.