UEFA confirms that Champions League, Europa League and international teams can make five changes this season after the Premier League went back to three – potentially putting English clubs at a disadvantage
- Clubs may make five substitutions in the European competition in 2020-21
- FIFA has proposed a change in law to help clubs deal with busy schedules
- The Premier League chose not to implement the amended rule this season
- UEFA committee also approved triple-header international breaks in 2021
Teams will be able to make five changes in UEFA competitions for the remainder of the season, organization president Aleksander Ceferin has confirmed.
The change in law was proposed by FIFA to help clubs manage players’ workloads in a busy calendar created by the coronavirus pandemic.
Although it has not been approved by the Premier League for the 2020-21 season, which has returned to three substitutes, UEFA’s executive committee has approved it for club competitions such as the Champions League and Europa League, and in national team matches.
Teams can make five substitutions in UEFA competitions for the remainder of the season
The Premier League has returned to teams with three changes for 2020-21
LaLiga, Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 have all continued to use this term five subs, meaning England’s top clubs play by different rules in national and European competitions, as revealed exclusively by Sportsmail this week.
Ceferin told reporters, “After representations from clubs and national associations, the executive committee approved the use of five substitutions in club and international matches for the remainder of the season.”
The executive committee also approved triple-header international breaks in March and September next year.
The international windows in October and November 2020 had already been extended by FIFA by one day, so that three instead of two matches could be played per country.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin confirmed that the decision was approved by the body’s executive committee after representations from clubs and national associations
Ceferin also announced that the UEFA 2021 Congress will take place in Switzerland in March next year, instead of in 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 to allow five substitutes.
Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, general secretary of the organization, said: “This is the right decision and a good first step to relieve pressure on elite-level players.
“We will continue to push for new innovative ways to reduce their increasing workload and protect their health and performance.”