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Temporary Amendment to Law 3

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a far-reaching impact on daily life, including sport, around the world. As many countries begin to emerge from this situation, the focus is slowly turning to the resumption of football competitions that have been affected by the virus. When competitions resume, matches may be played in a condensed period (e.g. to reduce the impact on future competitions) and in different weather conditions, both of which could have an impact on player welfare.
Consequently, The IFAB has approved FIFA’s proposal to introduce a temporary amendment to Law 3 – The Players relating to the maximum number of permitted substitutions (details below and on page 3) for competitions scheduled to be completed in 2020, whether or not they have already started.
Competition organisers have discretion as to whether or not to apply this temporary amendment. The IFAB and FIFA will determine at a later stage whether this option will need to be extended, e.g. to competitions due to be completed in 2021.
Law 3 – The Players – temporary amendment
The exact wording can be found on page 3 of this document, but in summary:
– Each team will be permitted to use a maximum of five substitutes.
– To reduce disruption to the match, each team will have a maximum of three opportunities to make substitutions during the game; substitutions may also be made at half-time.
– If both teams make a substitution at the same time, this will count as one of the three opportunities for each team.
– Unused substitutions and opportunities are carried forward into extra time.
– Where competition rules allow an additional substitution in extra time, teams will each have one additional substitution opportunity; substitutions may also be made before the start of extra time and at half-time in extra time.
NB: the use of return substitutes is not an option for senior competitions.
The IFAB also takes this opportunity to draw competition organisers’ attention to existing options within the Laws of the Game concerning the welfare and safety of the players and other participants, in particular those related to drinks breaks and cooling breaks contained in Law 7.
Competitions in which video assistant referees (VARs) are implemented are permitted to cease their use upon their restart, at the discretion of the competition organiser. However, where VARs are used, all aspects of the Laws of the Game and, by extension, the VAR protocol will remain in place.
Competitions eligible to use the temporary amendment to Law 3, or any of the other existing options, do not require permission from The IFAB to do so.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Laws of the Game 2020/21
The Laws of the Game 2020/21 come into force for competitions (and non-competition matches) as from 1 June 2020, but competitions suspended because of COVID-19 have the option of completing the competition using the Laws of the Game 2019/20 or the Laws of the
Game 2020/21, even if the restart is after 1 June 2020. ‘Friendly/warm-up/practice’ matches in preparation for the restart of the competition should use the version of the Laws that will be used when the competition restarts.



Registration of a company-Botswana Football League

Following various resolutions by the Botswana Football Association [BFA] -National Executive Committee to grant the elite league autonomy the move has since begun.

The Botswana Premier League also has always advocated for their autonomy and this comes at a time when the move for a commercial wing of the elite league is a must do.

Different football General Assemblies have also reiterated the need for the Botswana premier League to be independent from BFA.

The journey to make that a reality has begun with the help of different stakeholders. The FIFA professional department has been holding the BFA’s hand to achieve the desired goals.

BFA has since appointed a Transformation and Sponsorship Committee to implement the transformation of the elite league.

We are happy to announce that Botswana Football League (Pty) Ltd is registered with CIPA.

The company [Botswana Football league – BFL] will have all 16 premier league clubs as shareholders, and it will be a stand-alone company which will run their errands independently from the BFA. The BFL will only be a special member of the federation [BFA] as per FIFA standards and guidance.

The company will re-brand the elite league and make it a more viable property to entice partnerships that will see value in their investment by associating with this business entity.

A new dawn begins. The days of the premier league running as a society are over. These are exciting times and it can only be hoped that all stakeholders will be happy for this new beginning.

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