UEFA to allow five substitutes in Champions League and international matches
- The decision applies to this season's Champions League and Europa League
- A decision is yet to be taken for the finals of Euro 2020 which is postponed to June next year
- UEFA announced that the finals of this year's Nations League will be played from October 6-10 in 2021
European football governing body Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) on Thursday announced that it will allow up to five substitutions to be made by teams in all European club and international matches this season, reported AFP.
The decision, which was announced following UEFA's Executive Committee meeting in Budapest, applies to this season's Champions League, Europa League and women's Champions League, as well as the remainder of the Nations League, the qualifying play-offs for Euro 2020 and qualifiers for the next women's European Championship.
"Another decision" will be made for the finals of Euro 2020, which were postponed to June and July next year because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The decision comes after several national team coaches called on UEFA to allow five substitutions in the Nations League, which started earlier this month with only three replacements permitted to come on during games.
The regulation to make five substitutions was brought in earlier this year to help teams cope with the extra demands caused by a packed match calendar as football returned after a long shutdown due to the pandemic.
UEFA had also permitted five substitutions to be made during games in the latter stages of last season's Champions League and Europa League, which were played last month. The regulation is being maintained in several European Leagues although the English Premier League has opted to limit substitutions to three per team per game.
Global players' union FIFPro hailed the decision saying that it would "help to better manage the unprecedented workload which players face in the coming months because of calendar disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic."
FIFPro's general secretary, Jonas Baer-Hoffmann told AFP, "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."
UEFA announced that the finals of this year's edition of the Nations League will be played from October 6-10 in 2021 and also revealed that Italy, the Netherlands and Poland had all expressed interest in hosting the matches. Portugal beat the Netherlands in the final of the inaugural Nations League finals in 2019.