Several top European leagues have already enacted the new temporary rule for the betterment of the players amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The Indian Super League is likely to allow teams to use five substitutions per match in the upcoming season, Khel Now has learnt. The ISL is subsequently waiting for approval from the All India Football Federation for the same, as it is the national governing body that controls and formulates the playing regulations for the competition.

If this rule is indeed implemented, it will be a signal of Indian football following the moves made by their counterparts in Europe. Considering the welfare of players after football resumed following a break during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, almost all of the major European leagues have given a go-ahead to their clubs to utilize five substitutions in each game.

“This is because of the fact that the teams are supposed to play several matches in a short period of time to complete the season. The players, are thus at risk of suffering from injuries after making a sudden transition to competitive football following a considerably long break. It is a temporary tweak in the rules to adapt to the changing dynamics due to the COVID-19,” a source close to the development told Khel Now.

 In the Premier League, the overall count of substitutes that a team is allowed to have on the bench has been increased from seven to nine. Accordingly, the managers are given three opportunities during the course of the game, excluding the half-time break, to switch their players.

Recently, Eelco Schattorie had expressed similar views in an exclusive interview with Khel Now. The tactician who has been extensively involved with various clubs in India since 2012 believes that increasing the number of substitutes will naturally provide more opportunities to Indian players. It can enable the homegrown players to feature more frequently on the field and also provide the coaches additional alternatives to supplement their playing XI.

Schattorie had remarked, “I think it would be good to have more substitutes. I would be a big advocate for having five substitutes, for the whole season. So, that you would have more opportunities of giving young Indian players more chances. It doesn’t hurt anybody, if it is the same for everybody; for the sake of development and also for the sake of injury prevention.”

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