Football stakeholders in Tanzania have supported Fifa’s proposal to increase the number of substitutions when leagues resume after the coronavirus pandemic.
The proposal has to been greenlit by the Football Association Board (Ifab), football’s rule-making body before it is implemented.
Former Kagera Sugar, Toto Africans and Azam FC striker Phillip Alando says the proposal if adopted until the end of the 2021 season, will help teams cope with the players who will return physically unfit.
“I am supporting the idea of increasing the number of subs from three to five. This is because teams were unable to spend enough time with their players and conduct meaningful training sessions,” Alando told Mwanaspoti.
“Many players will return unfit and games will come thick and fast thus there is a need to allow a higher number of substitutes in order to help players take rests.”
Ihefu FC coach Maka Malwisi supported the idea too and said it will help minimise cases of injuries which are witnessed mainly when players ae unfit.
“Fifa has given professional advice and should the leagues resume it means players will have little time to prepare for each game and as many would return somewhat unfit, many of them will end up being extremely tired and the need for more substitutes will be seen,” he told the same publication.
“It is in a bid to reduce cases of injuries that Fifa has proposed the increase of players who can join the match from the bench and it remains the best suggestion.”
On his part, Gwambina FC coach Fulgence Novatus said the increased number of substitutes will help keep games competitive throughout the 90 minutes.
“I think it is a good thing and not only because of the coronavirus effects but also for the better development of the game,” Novatus told Mwanaspoti.
“It will effectively help in improving the competitiveness of the match from the first minute to the last minute.”
Defending the suggestion, a Fifa spokesperson told BBC health will always come first.
“Football should only resume when the health authorities and governments say it is absolutely safe and non-disruptive of health services being delivered to the populations,” the official explained.
“Safety of the players is one of Fifa’s main priorities. One concern in this regard is that the higher-than-normal frequency of matches may increase the risk of potential injuries due to a resulting player overload.”
There is no tentative date when actions are expected to resume in Tanzania.