FIFA have floated the idea that teams should be able to make five substitutions in competitive games rather than just three when football resumes action later this year.
The idea has come about as a result of the current suspension of action in the vast majority of the world’s football leagues.
The concept is being mooted in an effort to reduce the wear and tear on players that is likely to happen as a result of fixtures being crammed into a more congested time period.
There may also be issues with players’ fitness after a long lay-off, and more substitutions could lessen the risk of out-of-condition players suffering injuries.
The substitutions could be made during a maximum of three slots during play and at half-time.
The proposal has to be approved by the International Football Association Board, which is the sport’s law-making body.
Competitions such as the Premier League and the Bundesliga could then decide for themselves whether or not to implement it.
A FIFA statement reads: “In competitions where less than five substitutions are currently allowed, each team would now be given the possibility to use up to five substitutions, with the possibility of an additional substitution remaining during extra time where relevant.”
That FIFA statement also highlighted that teams were likely to be facing a “congested match calendar” when fixtures resume.
They have also stressed that the safety of players remains a priority of theirs, and that the potential increase in fixtures could increase the risk of injuries.
The increase in substitutions would be temporary, and instigated “at the discretion of the relevant competition organiser.”
It would apply to competitions due to be completed or to begin in 2021 or 2021. It will also cover international matches played up to and including December 31 2021.
Meanwhile, in England, some clubs have begun preparations for the Premier League restarting soon.
Arsenal, Brighton & Hove Albion and West Ham United have opened their training grounds to players to undertake individual training work.
The Premier League is reportedly hopeful that the competition can restart on June 8 and finish at the end of July.
Premier League clubs are set to meet on Friday to discuss options for the restart of the league, which has been suspended since March 13.
All clubs remain committed to playing out the season’s 92 remaining fixtures.
Games are expected to be played behind closed doors, and some games are expected to be made available on free-to-air television.
The league’s clubs are also set to discuss which stadiums can be used to play games. The list of “approved stadiums” is up for debate, as there is some uncertainty over whether it will include neutral venues, or be set to a limited number of grounds.
In Germany, the Bundesliga is set to return to action on May 9, subject to government approval.
In Italy, Serie A teams are set to return to full training on May 18, though no date has been mooted for a return to action as yet.