Five subs allowed in Uefa competitions for the rest of 2020-21 season

Triple-header international breaks in March and September next year also approved

The use of five substitutes has not been adopted by the Premier League. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty/AFP

The use of five substitutes has not been adopted by the Premier League. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty/AFP

 

Teams will be able to make five substitutions in Uefa competitions for the rest of the season, the organisation’s president Aleksander Ceferin has said.

The law amendment was proposed by world governing body Fifa to assist clubs in managing player workload in a congested calendar created by the coronavirus pandemic.

While it has not been adopted by the Premier League for the 2020-21 season, which has reverted to three substitutes, Ceferin said at a press conference that Uefa’s executive committee had approved it for club competitions such as the Champions League and the Europa League and in national team matches.

Ceferin said: “After representations from clubs and national associations the executive committee approved the use of five substitutions in club and international matches for the rest of the season.”

The executive committee also approved triple-header international breaks in March and September next year, he said.

The international windows in October and November 2020 had already been extended by one day by Fifa, to allow for three matches to be played by each country instead of two.

Ceferin also announced the 2021 Uefa Congress will take place in Switzerland in March next year, rather than the Belarusian capital Minsk.

The city in the former Soviet republic has witnessed popular uprisings against president Alexander Lukashenko, who was controversially re-elected in August.

World players’ union Fifpro welcomed the decision on allowing five substitutes.

The organisation’s general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann said: “This is the right decision and a good first step to ease pressure on elite-level players.

“We will continue to push for further innovative ways to reduce their mounting workload and protect their health and performance.”

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