Covid allows clubs to make 5 substitutions

Now watching Diego Simeone bring on four subs at once during the game against Liverpool might have left you confused but that was due to a rule change that was meant to save players. We all know the effects that Covid-19 has had on our everyday life, so when UEFA announced that 5 substitutions will be used for the remainder of the 19/20 season in both Champions League and Europa League no one was surprised.

This rule has transferred into the 20/21 and 21/22 seasons with some changes. The rule was implemented as a way to prevent injuries to players after a change in pace came about from the restart of the 19/20 season when players who were inactive suddenly started to play 3 games per week to recover lost time. This was shared amongst the top 5 leagues in Europe with only England choosing not to use the rule even with the congestion of fixtures. Pep Guardiola called it “ridiculous” for the English FA to not adopt the new rule.

Teams are allowed to make 5 substitutions during the group stages of the UEFA Champions League and should they progress to the knockout phase of the champions league they would be allowed to use 6 substitutions however, the 6th substitution is only valid in extra time. UEFA allows 3 stoppages in play for these changes; this does not include half-time or before extra time and during the half time of extra time.

The rule will allow clubs who had invested in squad depth to get the best out of their players. This will allow managers to try out new tactics. Teams are also allowed to have bigger benches. This will give players like Donny Van de Beek a chance to break into the first team and get some playing time under their belts with the rotations. We will also see a more competitive game with managers bringing in fresh legs to change the dynamics of the game. Managers such as Jurgen Klopp will certainly benefit from this with his heavy metal football that demands a lot from his players.

Changes in sports are always hard to adjust to at first like VAR but when you realise that this rule will best online casino only help to improve the game the fans will come around. It is better to have more subs than to have a player overexert themselves and get injured and be out of action for a few months. This also goes in hand with UEFA’s previously proposed rule change for an extra sub for head injuries which could be fatal.

The rule change was certainly needed as it preserves the players’ longevity. This rule change is expected to last until December 2022 with hopes of life getting back to normal. This could however be a permanent change in the rule book should it not affect the game too much and get the go-ahead from the IFAB. One sub can change a game imagine the possibilities of 5.

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