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Five substitutions and punishment for spitting: how FIFA will help soccer

Five replacements from FIFA

The International Football Association Board (IFAB), FIFA’s body responsible for finalising and implementing the current rules, has announced that teams will be allowed to make five substitutions each for the duration of the season suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The rule will cease to apply at the start of the 2020/21 season, and its implementation for the remainder of the current campaign will remain at the discretion of the national leagues.

  • However, it is expected that UEFA will implement it in the play-offs of the European competitions – Champions League and Europa League.

As soon as rumors about the introduction of this rule emerged, many coaches, and in particular the mentor of Lokomotiv Moscow Yuri Semin, expressed fears that the innovation will not so much save players from injuries in the overcrowded calendar, as lead to constant delays by teams who want to keep the score in the end.

The IFAB has thought about this and has introduced certain restrictions: for example, each team will be able to make substitutions at half-time and three times during stoppages in the course of the game, and if both sides make changes during the same stoppage, it is considered that each of them has spent one of their opportunities.

However, it is also said that unused substitutions can be used in extra time, while reverse substitutions remain prohibited, as always.

However, this is not the only measure soccer officials have taken to make life easier for clubs, as well as to keep players healthy.

Penalties for spitting.

Another innovation, which, however, may eventually extend to the new season, will be the rule to show yellow cards for spitting on the field.

This, as you can easily guess, is related to the situation with the spread of coronavirus infection, which can be transmitted through spitting. Given that players fall on the field, the viruses hypothetically in the spit can settle on their equipment or immediately get on their mucous membranes, leading to infection.

  • This point has not yet been approved because there is a great risk of this rule affecting the outcome of matches – after all, it will not be easy for players to immediately readjust and wean themselves off the habit, which is common to a very large number of players.

“Do you think there aren’t enough fantasists in FIFA? In any country, some officials fountain ridiculous ideas. It’s the same in soccer organizations. It’s just that many are trying to assert themselves against the background of such a debated topic,” former Spartak Moscow president Andrei Chervichenko said on the subject.

– How will the referee keep track of what caused a player to spit on the field? Maybe he choked or a fly got in his mouth. Does he have to chew it and eat it?

Total disinfection

The English Premier League (APL) has decided, among other safety measures, to disinfect the lawns where matches will be played.

“If the quarantine is lifted and health authorities allow non-contact training, there will be new rules for players and staff,” West Ham vice chairman Karren Brady wrote in her column for The Sun.

– This includes not being allowed to swap bibs, limiting training time in small groups (75 minutes each) and staying two meters away from each other. During this period, you will not be allowed to take the ball away, but you will be allowed to play catch and shoot on goal.

  • Corner flags, goal posts and even turf will also have to be disinfected. How exactly to do this, however, remains a mystery, because as a rule it kills the field. But if you want it, you will find it.

A matter of contracts

Another significant problem in completing the current season is the situation with the expiring contracts of players whose contracts are only valid until the end of this season – that is, until the end of June.

According to The Athletic, for example, the APL plans to resolve the situation by June 23, when contracts will be one week away. The league’s clubs are scheduled to discuss the situation on May 11.

It is assumed that there are three options for resolving the issue: to extend the contracts of such players until the end of the season on existing conditions, an extension for several years or the termination of contracts.

  • In the latter case, they will be able to begin negotiations with other teams and even get the right to finish the championship as part of a new team on June 24.

True, it is still unclear whether this will only apply to the Foggy Albion, or other countries will join the agreement.

As for the summer transfer window, which will also be discussed at the meeting, the priority dates are from July 1 to September 30. The AFL wants the window to be open until March 2021, but such a decision requires the consent of FIFA.