Coronavirus: Sweden coach Andersson trusts FIFA over five substitutions plan

By Sports Desk April 29, 2020

Sweden head coach Janne Andersson trusts FIFA and UEFA to come up with appropriate plans over how to restart football following the coronavirus pandemic.

This week, FIFA proposed that teams will be allowed to use five substitutes per match due to a congested schedule when action resumes.

Teams are facing a fixture pile-up when they finally return and FIFA hopes to ease players' workloads by permitting an additional two changes during a match, or six substitutions in total if games go to extra time.

Competitions would have the option to implement the new temporary rule until the end of next season, while it would also apply to national team matches up to and including December 31, 2021.

Andersson is aware tournament organisers like the world governing body and UEFA, who have postponed Euro 2020 until next year, face a challenging task.

"It is not an easy job to fit in the games and tournaments that have been postponed due to the spread of the virus," Andersson told Stats Perform when asked about the five substitutions plan.

"I trust that FIFA and UEFA will find a good way to handle this.

"I am no medical expert and I don't like to speculate. Limiting the virus and the health of people is the most important thing right now. 

"My hope is that we can start playing football as soon as possible."

Sweden qualified for Euro 2020 by finishing second to Spain in Group F, with Andersson acknowledging his team could look very different by June 2021, the revised start time.

"A year is a very long time in football," he said. "A lot of the preparations can be used in 2021 but of course both our team and the teams we are playing can look different in a year. 

"It gives a bit of time to look even closer at details in tactics and we are trying to use this extra time in the best way possible."

On the impact of a busy fixture calendar leading up to the tournament, he added: "I trust that both the players and their clubs will adjust to whatever circumstances the season will be finished in."

Andersson, who took charge of Sweden in the aftermath of Euro 2016, is currently furloughed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added: "I have worked in football for over 30 years. This is the longest break I have ever taken from the game that I love. 

"I am together with my colleagues working on how we can be even better to explain how we want our players to act on the pitch and prepare ourselves for the upcoming games this fall.

"I am no medical expert but I trust the Swedish authorities know what they are doing [with their approach to the lockdown]."

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