FIFA proposes radical rule change to help deal with fixture congestion

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

The latest reports indicate that the Premier League is working towards potentially resuming the competition in June behind closed doors (Daily Mail).

The proposed idea is to finish the remaining games in a compressed four to five-week time window.

In order to deal with the fixture congestion brought about by respective football associations around the world trying to cram in the remainder of the season, FIFA has proposed a radical rule change that could help players and clubs.

BBC Sport report that world football’s governing body has given temporary dispensation for teams to make five substitutions per game instead of three when the season resumes.

FIFA have also proposed allowing a sixth substitution to be used if a match goes into extra time.

The proposal will first have to be approved by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) and its implementation will be at the discretion of the relevant competition organiser.

It is also claimed that the main purpose of the proposed temporary rule change is to help players avoid injuries.

BBC Sport quotes a FIFA Spokesperson as saying: “Football should only resume when the health authorities and governments say it is absolutely safe and non-disruptive of health services being delivered to the populations.

“Safety of the players is one of Fifa’s main priorities. 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.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Injuries to players is a real worry if the season resumes as asking the players to play 9 to 10 games over a four week period after months of inactivity is a recipe for disaster. However, the integrity of competitions would be put into disrepute if drastic rule changes like this are allowed as some squads will be better equipped to take advantage of this than others.

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