In a virtual meeting between the German Football League (DFL) and its 36 Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs, it was revealed that all teams will be allowed to make up to five substitutions instead of three during a game.
Moreover, plans were discussed over the possibility of using neutral venues as a contingency plan and potentially extending the leagues’ expected 30 June conclusion.
The change will be put in place to minimise the risk of injury due to the amount of games having to be played in a short period of time. The International Football Association Board (IFAB) had already approved the proposal resulting in the rule only needing to be agreed with the clubs to be implemented this weekend.
The Bundesliga campaign resumes after an over 60 day absence, with matches being played behind closed doors from 16 May. The German top division is the first major European League to resume operations since the global health pandemic suspended the majority of live-sport.
The DFL has also revealed plans to prevent COVID-19 affecting the Bundesliga, including some sides potentially having to play in neutral venues if its stadiums are not safe to play in. However, this step is seemingly only being introduced as a precautionary measure.
A DFL spokesperson explained: “There will also be the opportunity to play a game in another stadium at short notice for overriding imperative legal, organisational and/or security reasons.
“The background to this is that the effects of the coronavirus pandemic also make it possible to develop an infection that is only regional or local, which may make it impossible for a game to be played at the intended location in the short term, while playing at another location.”
Finally, it was announced that the 2019/20 season must be fully completed, including the relegation play-off, and that the season can be extended into July to accommodate with the decision.
A DFL spokesperson added: The DFL Presidium – possibly deviating from the usual end of the season on 30 June – can determine the end of the season for the 2019/20 season and the beginning of the season for the 2020/21 season, taking into account the requirements of FIFA and the DFB (German Football Association).”