Reading dug out with Subs bibs on bench Reading Women v West Ham United Women SSE Women's FA Cup Semi Final football match, Adams Park Stadium, Wycombe, UK - 14 Apr 2019 Photo: Paul Gregory for The FA

Five substitutes rule can be applied to FAWSL and FA Women’s Championship

The Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship officially have the option to introduce a temporary rule change to allow up to five substitutes to be used by each club during 90 minutes.

Both competitions are currently suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic but should football resume, a temporary amendment to the rules surrounding the number of substitutions used in a match could be implemented.

World football’s governing body FIFA put forward the proposal to increase substitutions from three per team, per match to five last month to avoid players from suffering fatigue or injuries should the current season be completed in a relatively short timescale. That proposal has now been assessed and approved by the¬†International Football Association Board (IFAB) according to reports by Sky Sports, meaning that The Football Association are able to implement the additional substitutions rule for both the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship if they wish. This rule is not compulsory and competitions can opt to leave the number of substitutes permitted to three if deemed suitable.

The new rule will initially only apply to this season’s incomplete competitions, although it could be extended to cover the entire 2020/2021 campaign.

Should the rule be implemented for the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship, teams would be permitted to make changes at four different periods during a match, those being half-time and at three other periods throughout the 90 minutes. The rule could be further utilised for the Women’s FA Cup with teams possibly being permitted to make five substitutions in normal time and a further change in a period of extra-time.

A decision on whether the new temporary substitution rule will be implemented in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship is set to be made in due course.

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