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EFL confirm change of substitute rule for rest of the season

The EFL have confirmed that the clubs in the Championship, League One and League Two have agreed to increase the substitutes from three to five for the rest of the 2020/21 season.

The five-substitute rule was originally introduced by the International Football Association Board earlier in May with the view to the congested schedule and health concerns related to COVID-19.

Earlier this summer, the Premier League became the only major European league to oppose the rule for the 2020/21 campaign after the mid-table teams felt that the move was advantageous for the elite clubs.

The decision was also accepted by the English Football League board, but they have now reverted to five substitutes following consultation with the 72 teams playing under their control.

The Championship clubs will be permitted to name up to nine players on the bench instead of seven. However, the League One and League Two sides have not been handed any luxury in that aspect.

The change of rule will become active from Friday, meaning that the match between Coventry and Birmingham City will be the first where five substitutes will be allowed once again.

The rule change will only apply to the league matches and the clubs will continue to field a maximum of three substitutes (normal time) in the EFL Cup, FA Cup and EFL Trophy for the rest of the campaign.

That is due to the fact that the Premier League clubs are still limited to three substitutes per 90 minutes. It is unlikely to be reconsidered unless 14 clubs opt for the change. The notion has been rejected in the previous two votes.

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