Football: FA Cup to allow fourth substitute in extra time from quarter finals onwards

Manchester United players celebrate with the trophy after winning their English FA Cup final football match against Crystal Palace at Wembley stadium in London on May 21, 2016.
Manchester United players celebrate with the trophy after winning their English FA Cup final football match against Crystal Palace at Wembley stadium in London on May 21, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Teams progressing to the latter stages of the FA Cup next season will be allowed to field a fourth substitute in extra time, the English Football Association (FA) announced on Wednesday (July 27).

The International Football Association Board (Ifab), the game's lawmaking body, is carrying out a global study into a proposal for teams to make a fourth replacement during extra time.

The FA said as a trial for the study it would introduce the innovation for the quarter finals, semi-finals and final of the FA Cup, subject to Ifab approval.

If the FA gets the go-ahead from Ifab, clubs that have used three substitutes from the seven players named on their bench during the tournament's final three rounds will be allowed to introduce a fourth player in extra time.

The format was first used in this year's Copa America.

"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," FA chief executive Martin Glenn told the governing body's website (http://bit.ly/2atNtSF).

"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 Aug 5, with the final at Wembley in May 2017.