FIFA World Cup allows 5 substitutes
Photo: The New York Times

FIFA World Cup 2022 will allow five substitutes in a single game inside the regulation time, in what is to be the first time in a FIFA World Cup. Moreover, the ruling body will allow bigger rosters for the teams. 26 players will be allowed to be in a squad that previously was 23.

The changes will give the coaches and manager of each team to be more flexible with the tactics and choose from a deeper bench of 15 players.

The five-substitute rule has been in effect around the world in different competitions since 2020. It was adopted as a COVID and Post-COVID caution to protect the physical and mental health of players.

Five subs are now common in every major league from Europe to MLS in the United States. The Spanish La Liga used five subs in the 2021-2022 season. The English Premier League used it initially but reverted back to three subs for the past two seasons. They will adopt the Five Subs rule from the next season in 2022-2023.

Major tournaments like the CONMEBOL Copa America 2021 and UEFA Euro Cup 2020 (held in 2021) used the Five Subs rule.

This change of rule in the FIFA World Cup 2022 means that, for the third straight cycle, the World Cup will kick off with a major rules change. The Goal-Line tech was introduced in the Brazil World Cup 2014. The VAR made it a successful World Cup 2018 in Russia. This time we will see Five Subs in November in Qatar. Moreover, for the first time in the history, the FIFA World Cup will see 6 women match referees, 3 referees and 3 assistant referees.

The Five Subs change has been regarded as a positive change by the managers of small and big clubs alike since its use in leagues. For example, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel calls it “brilliant.”

Golam Muktadir
Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports.