Soccer lawmakers set to make 5 subs option permanent, drop 25-minute halftime proposal

AP , Thursday 25 Nov 2021

Soccer's lawmakers moved Thursday to make permanent the pandemic-era option of using five substitutes and dropped a proposal to let halftime be extended to 25 minutes.

Atletico Madrid vs AC Milan
Atletico Madrid s Spanish midfielder Koke (L) fights for the ball with AC Milan s Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic during the UEFA Champions League first round Group B football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and AC Milan at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on November 24, 2021. AFP

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) announced the updates to go to its decision-making annual meeting on March 4-5 in Zurich.

In May 2020, high-level competitions were given the choice to allow teams five replacements in a 90-minute game. It was to help manage players' health and workload in pending fixture congestion when competitions restarted after a near-global shutdown.

The interim rule is currently available through 2022 and is now set to be written into the laws of soccer.

The 25-minute pause was proposed by South American soccer body CONMEBOL, which wanted the option to stage Super Bowl-style shows at halftime in major games such as cup finals.

IFAB has rejected it citing ``the potential negative impact on player welfare and safety resulting from a longer period of inactivity.''

The IFAB panel comprises the four British soccer federations and FIFA delegates. Their business meeting is held in November to shape the agenda for the annual session.

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