A new temporary rule could be introduced to the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship once the competitions restart according to Sky Sports sources.
Both competitions have been suspended since last month due to the Coronavirus pandemic but could return before the end of spring as the threat of the virus recedes and some UK lockdown measures are reduced.
Matches are expected to initially be staged behind-closed-doors and played within a relatively short period, putting a real strain on clubs’ squads, particularly in the FA Women’s Championship where many players are part-time.
To help ease the added fitness demands which the hectic end to the season could cause and to reduce the risk of injury, it is understood that world football’s governing body FIFA are set to alter the rule for permitted substitutes from three changes per match to five.
It is thought that the proposed change, which will also cover the 2020/2021 campaign, has been referred to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) who will now make a decision on whether this can be approved.
The proposal could see FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship clubs make up to five substitutions per game during four separate periods, those being half-time and at up to three other intervals during the match.
In this season’s Women’s FA Cup, clubs will be allowed to make a sixth substitution if extra-time must be played to decide the winner, that change would have to be made during the additional 30 minutes. Allowing a maximum of six substitutions may also be extended into next season’s competition, as well as the knockout stages of the FA Women’s Continental League Cup.
It is hoped that a decision on the temporary rule change could be made by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) by the end of the week.