Teams competing in the FA Cup will be able to field a fourth substitute from the sixth round onwards in the competition this season, the Football Association have announced.
The law-making body, the International Football Association Board, IFAB, is carrying out a global study into a proposal that would allow teams to make a fourth replacement during extra-time.
And subject to IFAB approval, the FA will play a lead role in testing to introduce this innovation for the closing stages of this season’s Cup.
If approved, clubs who have used three substitutes from the seven players named on their bench during the sixth round, semi-finals and final will then be allowed to introduce a fourth player in extra-time. This format was first trialled earlier this summer in the Copa América.
“The 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,” said the FA chief executive, Martin Glenn.
“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.
“Also, from a technical point of view, it will be interesting to see how managers use the chance to make an additional substitution in such high-profile games and the impact it has on the final result.
“Player welfare and being mindful of the number of games people play at the elite level has also been a consideration.”
The FA Cup begins on 5 August, with the final at Wembley in May 2017.
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