FIFA wants to let teams use 5 substitutes during backlog

Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp, center, shouts out from the touchline as Liverpool's Adam Lallana, left, is substituted by Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the English FA Cup fifth round soccer match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge stadium in London Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)
Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp, center, shouts out from the touchline as Liverpool's Adam Lallana, left, is substituted by Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the English FA Cup fifth round soccer match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge stadium in London Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Ian Walton) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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.