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Premier League must rethink option to use five substitutes – Southgate

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England’s Premier League must reconsider its position on limiting clubs to making only three substitutions per match as injuries mount amid a congested schedule, national team boss Gareth Southgate has said.

Soccer’s rule-making body, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), gave leagues the option of continuing to use five substitutes per match in the 2020-21 campaign after introducing the system earlier this year, with games coming thick and fast after the COVID-19 pandemic truncated the length of the season.

While other top European leagues have taken up that option, Premier League clubs voted against it, though Southgate’s call echoed complaints from a chorus of club managers asking for a change following injuries to England internationals Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and Ben Chilwell.

“We were able to make five changes against Belgium, we made four in the end and clubs don’t have that option,” Southgate told reporters.

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