Ahead of Monday’s meeting between the Premier League, Liverpool and the other clubs, the International Football Association Board has announced a couple of rule changes to be considered upon any league’s restarting.
The new adjustments are designed to provide the safest possible environments for the players and teams while they potentially complete a staggering amount of matches in a relatively short span of time.
Firstly, the IFAB will be happy to let VAR go in the short term. The system would be supported for each league that wants it but the heads of each competition can decide to scrap VAR for the restart if they choose.
“In relation to competitions in which the video assistant referee (VAR) system is implemented, these competitions are permitted to cease its use upon restart at the discretion of each individual competition organiser,” said IFAB.
“However, where VAR is used, all aspects of the Laws of the Game and, by extension, the VAR protocol will remain in place.”
The second dramatic change effects substitutions. With the matches expected to come thick and fast for each club in the event of a restart, fitness and burnout will be worrisome factors for managers. IFAB says that instead of the standard three subs per match, teams would be allowed five.
“For competitions which have either started or are intended to start, but are scheduled to be completed by 31 December 2020, the IFAB has approved FIFA’s proposal to introduce a temporary amendment to Law 3 – The Players, which will allow for a maximum of five substitutes to be made per team.
“However, to avoid disruption to the game, each team will only have three opportunities to make substitutions; substitutions may also be made at half-time.
“The temporary amendment comes into force with immediate effect, and has been made as matches may be played in a condensed period in different weather conditions, both of which could have impacts on player welfare.
“The decision on whether to apply this temporary amendment will remain at the discretion of each individual competition organiser, while The IFAB and FIFA will determine at a later stage whether this temporary amendment would need to be extended further (e.g. for competitions due to be completed in 2021).”