How many changes can be made and how many times can the game be stopped

On June 11, Sevilla and Betis will face each other in what will be the first game of the First Division in the new normal. There will be many new features, such as late hours, possible hydration breaks or empty stands, but perhaps most striking is the introduction of the five substitutions. In a new scenario, each coach will have the opportunity to put five shocks in search of victory, something that has not left anyone indifferent and that has already sparked praise and criticism.

On May 8, the International Board (FIFA) approved the five changes between now and the end of the season, as a consequence of the hiatus and the fact that soccer players cannot carry out a preseason to use. Thus, it also established an extra substitution in the extension and the possibility of making two hydration breaks before the arrival of high temperatures. However, each country had to approve it under its borders. Further, FIFA also allowed calls for up to 23 footballers.

The Federation, from the first moment that they started talking about the temporary reform of the regulation, advocated for implementing it in professional and non-professional soccer. Subsequently, it was approved by the Executive Committee and found no rejection from LaLiga. Conversely, Spain will no longer apply the new rules of football. On June 1, the measures adopted by IFAB come into force, but the national competition will host an amendment that allows to continue playing with the previous ones until the end of the season. This is what the Arbitration Committee also wanted, so as not to change the rules mid-game.

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The youth squads could receive opportunities for the five changes. Camel, an example.

Five substitutions, three interruptions

The nature of the new regulations is based on giving oxygen to the players due to the load of matches and the lack of preparation. For this reason, FIFA considered that it was ideal to introduce the five changes, but these could be used as a perfect excuse to scratch seconds to the stopwatch. If there was no nuance, the winning clubs could reserve several substitutions in the final minutes to tie the result and continually interrupt the game. Given such a situation, A requirement was adopted: Five changes can be made, but only in three interruptions per team. That is, at least two of the stops must be to introduce a double change.

Flattery and criticism

There are those who think that they favor the great, others who believe that it is necessary … Of course the measure does not leave anyone indifferent. Perhaps they all share that it is positive in order to preserve the physique of the players, although some would prefer that this rule did not exist so that other clubs would not benefit more than them. Aguirre, Setién, Lenglet, Cazorla, Bordalás, Sergio, Ziganda, Víctor Fernández … There are hardly any protagonists left without demonstrating.

“They are going to harm us for the way we play”

Setién, on the five changes

Perhaps the most famous opinion was that of the Barcelona coach. “I don't know if it will harm us or benefit us. I think it will harm our way of playing. We know that many games we will solve in the final minutes. If you give an opponent the option of having fresh players come out in that time, that weakness that is generated, with tired players, will not occur, “Setién explained. Lenglet nuanced him: “Who is doing well with this measure is the player between the heat, the games, the trips … I don't know Barça, we'll see. “

Following Setien's words, the debate went viral in telematic conferences. Bordalás, for example, contradicts him: “I like the measure of the five changes due to possible injuries and the heat. I think that the greats will benefit from the five changes. When the substitutes enter they will not have a level jump. Modest teams don't have such extensive templates. Logically, this measure benefits the greats. “

Aguirre does not come to conclusions and flatters him: “If two players are injured in the first half, you keep a change and in the 1970s there are sun cramps, what do you do? With five options, I think it's great to take care of the player and to the show. Then the nuances go in the budgetsCazorla it follows the current (“the five changes are necessary”), Sergio makes trouble (“it is good, but it causes inequality and does not favor the little ones”) …

“The greats are going to benefit from the five changes”


Second Division will also apply. Ziganda, Oviedo coach, is suspicious of multiple substitutions: “You bet on an eleven and think of one or two solutions“. Víctor Fernández is not satisfied either:”I absolutely don't like anything. I do not see it well in the sense that the integrity of the competition is not respected. We have played 74% of the days with some rules and those that are missing should be played the same. It is a very flattering measure for those teams that have extraordinary squads. “

The possible favored

Beyond the speculations of the protagonists about the clubs that will be reinforced by this measure, many players see in this agreement an opportunity to shine, earn the position and renew confidence for the coming season. Soccer players such as Brahim, Jovic, Ansu Fati, Manu Vallejo or Carrasco, so often dependent on the result of the matches to have the possibility of dressing short, will now enter more regularly. The best substitutes of LaLiga will gain even more importance and not only due to the load of matches: Darwin Machís, Arturo Vidal, Vinicius, Ángel Rodríguez, Deyverson …

Thebes already warned the clubs to forget about millionaire signings and to think about recovering on loan and giving the youth squads an opportunity. His words hinted at the upcoming season, but the kids from the lower categories of the club will surely receive an opportunity in the coming weeks. Not all teams have deep benches and may need attacking men against stuck games. Their good work could give them gallons for the next sports year.

Are they used in Germany?

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Dortmund is the biggest that has used the five substitutions the most.

Since the restart on May 16, in Germany the five changes are allowed. Taking into account the first four days played, the clubs have taken advantage of the variation in the regulations in the 36 games played. Doing the quick calculation, they could have been done 360 substitutions and 308 of them have been made. That is, 85.5% of the allowed. On 44 occasions (out of 72) the five changes have been made and only Wolfsburg have never done so in their first four games.

In addition, what happened in the Bundesliga gives Setien part of the reason. Only Cologne, Eintracht and Paderborn have made full with the five substitutions. All three are in the second half of the leaderboard. Union Berlin or Mainz have done them three times and also occupy the positions below. From above, Dortmund is the one that benefits the most from circumstances with three games with five changes. Bayern or Leipzig have only done it once.

The five changes in the Bundesliga *

Equipment Five changes Four changes Three changes Two changes
Bayern 1 time one 2 0
Dortmund 3 one 0 0
Leipzig one one 2 0
Monchengladbach 2 one one 0
Leverkusen 2 one 0 one
Wolfsburg 0 0 2 2
Hoffenheim one 2 one 0
Freiburg one 2 0 one
Hertha 3 one 0 0
Schalke 2 one one 0
Suburb 4 0 0 0
Eintracht 4 0 0 0
Augsburg 2 2 0 0
Berlin Union 3 0 0 one
Mainz 3 one 0 0
Dusseldorf 2 2 0 0
Werder Bremen 2 one one 0
Paderborn 4 0 0 0

* The first four games after the break in the Bundesliga are studied.