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UEFA approves rule of five substitute footballers at Euro Cup matches this summer

Members of the UEFA Executive Committee held a meeting on Wednesday discussing, among other things, an issue of the maximum amount of substitute players at matches of major European tournaments

MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. The Executive Board of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) decided to introduce the rule of making five substitutions for each team during matches of the Euro Cup, the Europa Cup and Champions League, the UEFA’s press service stated on Wednesday.

Members of the UEFA Executive Committee held a meeting on Wednesday discussing, among other things, an issue of the maximum amount of substitute players at matches of major European tournaments.

"Teams will be allowed to use a maximum of five substitutes at UEFA Euro 2020 and at the 2021 UEFA Nations League finals and relegation play-outs," according to the statement from the UEFA’s press office.

In July 2020, the UEFA introduced amendments allowing national European football teams to have five substitutions of national team’s players instead of the previously stated regulation of three. This decision was made to curb the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus.

The official statement from UEFA reads that: "As the reasons for the five-substitutions rule remain valid against the background of national and international football calendars affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and given that the rule is already in place for the World Cup qualification matches that will run from March 2021 to March 2022, it was decided to extend the amendment to UEFA EURO 2020 in June/July 2021, the UEFA Nations League finals in October 2021 and the UEFA Nations League relegation play-outs in March 2022."

On March 17, 2020, UEFA announced a decision to postpone the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup for exactly one year as a preventive measure against the ongoing global spread of the novel coronavirus.

The championship was rescheduled to be held between June 11 and July 11, 2021 and Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg is among 12 cities in Europe to host the European championship’s matches.

Saint Petersburg was granted the right to host three group stage matches and one of the quarterfinals of the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup. The newly built football arena in St. Petersburg hosted the opening and final matches of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and also served as one of 12 stadiums across the country hosting matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The over 62,300-seat capacity stadium was laid down in the western part of Krestovsky Island in St. Petersburg in 2007 and commissioned in early 2017. It serves as a home stadium for Zenit St. Petersburg football club.

In August 2019, the European governing body of football announced a decision to select Russia’s St. Petersburg as a venue for the final match of the 2021 Champions League.

A decision to hold the 2020 Euro Cup, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2020, in various European countries instead of in one or two hosting countries was made at the UEFA Executive Committee’s meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on December 6, 2012.

The matches of the 2020 Euro Cup were scheduled to be held at stadiums in 12 different cities across Europe, namely in London (England), Munich (Germany), Rome (Italy), Baku (Azerbaijan), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Dublin (Ireland), Bilbao (Spain), Budapest (Hungary), Glasgow (Scotland) and Copenhagen (Denmark).

COVID-19 global situation

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 129,088,300 people have been infected worldwide and more than 2,820,300 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 104,128,200 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.