Five substitutes plan agreed on football’s resumption

Sheffield United could be allowed six substitutes in the FA Cup after a temporary change to the rules of the game was approved.

However, the Premier League is not expected to take up the option of abandoning VAR if they resume the 2019-20 season.

Neither the Premier League nor Football League has decided yet whether they will try to complete the season as they hope. The problems of logistics, contracts and the knock-on effect for next season means games will have to be played in a tighter-than-usual timeframe, and in summer weather if the campaign is not to be abandoned.

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To help, the International Football Association Board has agreed to allow five substitutes per side in a game, but to avoid timewasting, teams will only have three opportunities to make changes during play, plus another at half-time.

Sheffield United's Lys Mousset in the FA Cup this season.

In the FA Cup unused substitutions and windows will carry over into extra-time, where a further change is permitted. The Blades are in the quarter-finals.

This has been the first season where the Premier League has used a video assistant referee (VAR), and it has not been without teething problems. Sheffield United are the side who have had most decisions go against them, sometimes controversially so, as when David McGoldrick’s goal at Tottenham Hotspur was chalked off because John Lundstram’s boot was millimetres behind the last defender before the ball was transferred to the opposite side of the field, then crossed.

FIFA proposed the changes for all competitions starting and ending in 2020, but the ruling is only for those completed this year, and will be reviewed for next season.

It is up to individual competitions to decide if they want to adopt the temporary changes or carry on as before. The Premier League is not expected to abandon VAR, but could agree to five substitutions.

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