FOOTBALL teams will be allowed to make no fewer than five substitutions in a game when play restarts following the coronavirus pandemic after the International Football Association Board (IFAB) approved a temporary rule change.

IFAB agreed to make a temporary amendment to the laws of the game for competitions that have either started or are scheduled to start and finish before December 31, 2020, after receiving a proposal from FIFA.

The change will be made to Law 3 and will allow a maximum of five substitutes to be made per team. However, to avoid disruption to the game, each team will only have three opportunities to make substitutions. Substitutions may also be made at half-time.

The temporary amendment comes into force with immediate effect and has been made as matches may be played in a condensed period and in different weather conditions. FIFA believe both ould have impacts on player welfare.

The decision on whether to apply this temporary amendment will remain at the discretion of each individual competition organiser. IFAB and FIFA will determine at a later stage whether this temporary amendment will need to be extended further and be applied to competitions due to be completed in 2021.

The amendment to Law 3 affects both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 Laws of the Game, with the latter coming into effect as from June 1, 2020.

In summary:

* Each team will be permitted to use a maximum of five substitutes.

* To reduce disruption to the match, each team will have a maximum of three opportunities to make substitutions during the game; substitutions may also be made at half-time.

* If both teams make a substitution at the same time, this will count as one of the three opportunities for each team.

* Unused substitutions and opportunities are carried forward into extra time.

* Where competition rules allow an additional substitution in extra time, teams will each have one additional substitution opportunity; substitutions may also be made before the start of extra time and at half-time in extra time.

The use of return substitutes is not an option for senior competitions.