Fourth substitute rule to be introduced in the latter stages of FA Cup
The 2016/17 FA Cup will see the introduction of a new rule which allows for a fourth substitution to be made for teams progressing to the quarterfinals and further in the tournament, subject to ratification from International Football Association Board (IFAB). Clubs who have utilised all of their three substitutions will be allowed to make a fourth change, if the game progresses to extra time.
Currently, if a player is injured during extra time, the team continues playing with 10 men. However, with the advent of the new rule, this is now set to change. This system was initially trialled at the Copa America Centenario with limited success.
This rule is expected to come into effect as a part of IFAB’s study on a proposal to include an extra substitution for matches going into extra time.
The FA has always been open to new innovations and technology. After the success of the vanishing spray, which was introduced in the 2015/16 Premier League campaign, the governing body has been constantly on the lookout for new changes to implement in order to further modernise the game.
This is the latest of many innovations introduced by the FA which is expected to bring more drama and attract more interest to the beautiful game. Just months earlier, the sudden death knockout format from the quarterfinals stage of the competition was also announced.
The introduction of a fourth substitute could have a significant impact on many results and it remains to be seen how this rule change would affect the tactics of managers.
FA chief Martin Glenn was quoted as saying "The Emirates FA Cup is renowned for its great history and tradition but, as the game’s governing body, it is important The FA continues to look at how it can further add to the drama and spectacle of a competition loved by millions around the world, with The Cup now adopting a straight knockout format from the quarter finals onwards, the introduction of a fourth substitute in extra time will bring extra intrigue and interest.”
The 2016/17 FA Cup will commence on Friday, 5th of August.