Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced a number of changes to the competition rules, regulations and match day protocols the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season which restarts this Friday evening.
FFA’s Head of Leagues, Greg O’Rourke, said that the changes were made in line with the COVID-safe protocols that the competition is adhering to.
“Like many sports and leagues around the world, we have made amendments to our competition rules, regulations and procedures with the guiding principle being the health, welfare and safety of our players, coaches and officials,” said O’Rourke.
“In line with the options provided by FIFA and IFAB and announced by FFA circular in May 2020, we will be allowing teams to have up to five (5) substitutes per match and will also be temporarily suspending the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
“With the high number of matches to be played in a short period of time, the use of extra substitutes will obviously allow teams to increase game time for more of their players and manage player loads but it will also allow for more opportunities for those on the bench to push for selection and drive their ambitions.
“The VAR decision was made after considering a number of factors. Our aim has always been to improve decision-making accuracy and work concurrently with IFAB to improve fan engagement by allowing Referee audio broadcast. It is still our ambition to pioneer the broadcast of referee communications, along with many Leagues around the world, but is still in development mode for the Global game. We will revisit the use of the VAR for the Hyundai A-League 2020 Finals Series at a later date.
“In addition, we will also be extending the technical areas to allow for social distancing as well as suspending the team walkouts, line-ups, handshakes and coin toss procedure pre-match. Instead, the coin toss will be conducted 60 minutes before kick-off and the teams and match officials will enter the field of play from separate tunnels or at staggered times,” concluded O’Rourke.