Fourth Substitute Pilot To Take Place During Extra-Time In This Season’s FA Cup – From Quarter-Finals Onwards

This season’s FA Cup will pilot the use of a fourth substitute by teams, the Football Association has announced.

Pending approval by the International Football Association Board, from the quarter-finals onwards clubs will be able to make an additional substitution during extra-time.

The move follows the scrapping of sixth-round replays, meaning drawn matches will go straight to extra-time and penalties.

Teams that have made three substitutions during normal time will be permitted to make an additional change in a format that was first trialled during this summer’s Copa America and will also be used during the Olympic football tournament.

FA cup trophy inside the stadium before the match
Martin Glenn says the change will bring ‘extra intrigue and interest’ CREDIT: REUTERS

Clubs will even be allowed to make up to four changes during extra-time if they have not used three substitutes inside 90 minutes.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn said: “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. 

“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 IFAB pilots are designed to ascertain whether a fourth substitution yields a player welfare benefit, whether it is used tactically, or whether it has an unfair impact.

The later rounds of next season’s FA Cup are also expected to trial the use of video technology.

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