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  • This decision emphasizes the well-being of the players
  • Concussion replacements possible regardless of the number of replacements already used
  • Teams can also make up to five normal substitutions per match.

FIFA confirmed today that it will test additional permanent replacements in the event of a potential or actual concussion at the FIFA Club World Cup ™, scheduled to take place in Qatar from February 1 to 11, 2021. This will be the first international competition in which such trials will take place.

With input from FIFA and following extensive consultations with key stakeholders, the protocol for concussion substitutions was approved at the annual working session of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in December 2020. It aims to:

  • send a strong message that, in the slightest doubt, the player concerned should be replaced;
  • prevent a player from sustaining another concussion during the match, as repeated head injuries can have very serious consequences;
  • prevent the medical team from being put under too much pressure to deliver its verdict quickly; and
  • establish a simple procedure that can be applied at all levels of football.

In accordance with the IFAB circular n ° 21, FIFA will put in place a protocol whereby each team may have recourse to one concussion substitution per match at most; this replacement may be carried out regardless of the number of replacements already used elsewhere.

The application of this test protocol will be carried out as part of the regulation the competition and the return-to-play strategy defined in the evaluation tool SCAT5 (Sport Concussion Assessment Tool).

Five possible replacements

Teams participating in the Club World Cup may make up to five normal substitutions per match. To avoid interrupting the game excessively, each will have only three opportunities to make these five substitutions, those made at half-time not being counted for this purpose.

A temporary amendment to Law 3 (Players) was introduced for this purpose by the IFAB in May 2020 on the basis of a proposal received from FIFA in order to safeguard the well-being of the players. An extension of this amendment was recently approved at the annual IFAB working session.

Prize draw on January 19

The competition’s match schedule is available here. The teams involved will know their respective opponents at the end of the draw scheduled in Zurich on January 19 at 4:00 p.m. (CET).

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, FIFA and the host country will take the necessary steps to provide the necessary guarantees for the health and safety of all participants, including the full application of the document Back to football – Protocol relating to international matches.

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