Extra substitute trial set for FA Cup's latter stages

FA Cup (File)
FA Cup (File)

London - England's Football Association plans to let teams make an additional, fourth, substitution in extra-time from the quarter-finals onwards of next season's FA Cup, the governing body said Wednesday.

The rule change, which still requires approval from the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the game's global law-makers, will see teams who have made all three changes during the regulation 90 minutes of a quarter-final, semi-final or final tie permitted one more substitute during the 30 minutes of extra-time.

"With the Cup now adopting a straight knock-out format from the quarter-finals onwards (there will be no replays in any matches from the stage), the introduction of a fourth substitute in extra-time will bring extra intrigue and interest," FA chief executive Martin Glenn said\.

The additional substitute scheme is the latest planned change to the FA Cup, the world's oldest senior knockout football competition, after officials decided to banish replays from the last eight onwards in a bid to reduce fixture congestion.

This year's Copa America final also featured an extra substitute, although neither Chile nor Argentina took advantage of the rule change.

Glenn added: "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.

"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."

FA Cup holders Manchester United beat Premier League rivals Crystal Palace 2-1 after extra-time in a Wembley final in May.

United had defender Chris Smalling sent off in extra time, having made all three of their substitutions in the regulation 90 minutes.

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