The International Football Association Board (IFAB) in conjunction with FIFA amended Law 3 temporarily to safeguard the health of players and prevent injuries due to the backlog of matches caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Coach Gernot Rohr of the Super Eagles has lauded the global football governing body (FIFA) for its new rule of allowing five substitutes for international matches, a decision the global body said would last till December 2021.
Rohr pointed out that the new rule will improve the solidarity in the team because he could hand game time to majority of the players invited to the Super Eagles unlike in the past when some watched the games from the stands.
“It gives us new possibilities to change during a match. We were already 18 in the national teams; there were more players on the sidelines than those who could come in, so there everyone is involved.
“This is important for the spirit of a group, rather than just three players who can play. The coach can also substitute much more tactically, but also to avoid injuries.
“We have a lot more possibilities; it’s a very good measure. Maybe we will even keep it after if it gives satisfaction, we never know,” he said.
On the next African Cup of Nations (AFCON), the former Niger Republic manager said the Super Eagles were on the right track, promising to deliver the ticket whenever hostilities resume.
“We are top of our group and that is one thing a coach will desire; I can say that we are on the right track to qualify,” he said in a monitored programme.
Nigeria’s next competitive match – a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Lesotho – is tentatively scheduled to take place in September 2020.
Football governing body FIFA has been receiving commendation from pundits, fans and on the recent addition of substitutes.
FIFA is willing to allow extra changes during games as players find their way back to match fitness due to the congestion caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“When competitions resume, such competitions are likely to face a congested match calendar with a higher than normal frequency of matches played in consecutive weeks,” a FIFA spokesperson said.
“Safety of the players is one of FIFA’s main priorities. One concern in this regard is that the frequency of matches may increase the risk of potential injuries due to a player overload.
“In light of this and the unique challenge faced globally in delivering competitions according to the originally foreseen calendar, FIFA proposes a larger number of substitutions be temporarily allowed at the discretion of the relevant competition organiser.
“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.”