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ISL 2020-21: Number of substitutes increased, no change in away goal rule

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Modified 11 Nov 2020, 13:27 IST

The Indian Super League (ISL) announced on Tuesday that they will be allowing a maximum number of five substitutions to be made by a team during a match in the upcoming 2020-21 season. Previously not more than three substitutions were permissible.

Over a maximum of three intervals, barring the half-time changes, teams will be able to make use of their five substitutes. Along with this, the ISL authorities also decided to increase the numbers of players sitting on the substitutes' bench from seven to nine.

The rules were made keeping in mind that players were returning to action after a long break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Training was hit hard because of lockdown and players could need time to reach their peak level. With ISL Season 7 being long, teams also needed to be best prepared in case of sudden injuries.

The five-substitute rule was put in place when international football resumed in June. While the Premier League did follow it in the remainder of their 2019-20 campaign, they resorted to go back to the earlier three-substitute rule for the ongoing 2020-21 season. Other leagues in Europe as well as the UEFA Champions League, however, are still continuing with the new five-substitute rule.

No change in away goal rule in ISL Season 7

For the first time a full season of ISL, which starts on November 20, will be played across one state. To create a bio-secure bubble, it was necessitated with matches to be played in three venues in Goa - Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Fatorda), Tilak Maidan (Vasco) and GMC Stadium (Bambolim).

That has left the teams bereft of any proper home advantage. Despite that, ISL did not make any changes to the existing away-goal rule in playoffs. The current rule allows the club with an away goal advantage to advance to the final in case of two teams being tied in aggregate goals at the end of semifinal playoffs.

In such a situation, clubs have to fall back on penalty kicks to decide the winner if the two teams are tied at the end of extra time.

Published 11 Nov 2020, 13:04 IST
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