ISL: League increases maximum substitutes to five
For the first time, the Indian top tier will allow as many as five substitutions in a match.
Panaji: The Indian Super League (ISL) has informed all the participating clubs that they will allow a total of five substitutions in the match.
The new development has been influenced largely due to the ongoing pandemic situations which have globally affected the bench strength of most teams. Club competitions like UEFA Champions League, Europa League, and top European leagues including La Liga, Bundesliga have already allowed five substitutions for this season, excluding the English Premier League. Influenced by this decision, the Indian league will also now follow the same.
“The ISL teams will have three opportunities to make a total of five substitutions, which doesn’t include half-time,” said a source quoted by the Times of India.
Also, now the maximum substitutes allowed to sit on the bench has been increased from seven to nine.
The main reason behind the introduction of the five substitutions rule is to tackle the concerns of the clubs over fitness and injury risks that loom over the players who will be playing games in a short period of time.
“It’s a good rule and should greatly help clubs who have the luxury of more strength in depth. There would be quite a few tactical innovations too due to this rule,” said one official as quoted by the TOI.
Interestingly, the 'away-goal rule' of the league has been retained this season, despite the fact that the league will be only played in Goa.
The ISL rule states that “if at the end of the normal time of the second match of any home and away semi-final play-off match, the two competing clubs are level on score after taking into account the aggregate result over the two legs (aggregate score of home and away semifinals after the second leg), then the club which has scored more away goals shall qualify for the final.”
The away goal rule will not apply in case the match goes into extra time and both teams score the same number of goals, in the event of which the winner will be decided on the basis of penalty kicks.