(Reuters) – Teams will be allowed to make a fourth substitution if their matches go into extra-time during next year’s Asian Cup finals, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on Friday.
Soccer’s law-making body, International Football Association Board (IFAB), earlier this year approved the use of a fourth substitute during extra time and the rule proved to be a success during the World Cup in Russia.
“The entire continent is eagerly awaiting Asia’s most prestigious tournament and it is, therefore, essential that the AFC Asian Cup adopts the latest regulations,” AFC president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said in a statement.
“I am confident it will add to the excitement of Asia’s flagship national team competition and further strengthen the AFC’s ambitions to be the world’s leading confederation.”
The regional governing body said the new regulations will also be in place during this month’s AFC under-19 championship in Indonesia as well as next year’s AFC under-19 women’s championship and the 2020 AFC under-23 championship.
Last month, AFC said it would introduce the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system at the Asian Cup.
The extended 2019 Asian Cup will see 24 teams taking part for the first time, up from the 16 that competed in the last four editions. The tournament kicks off in the United Arab Emirates on Jan. 5.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)