Clubs competing in the Emirates FA Cup fifth round will be able to make additional permanent concussion substitutions.
Following extensive consultation with medical experts and national associations to find ways to improve management of possible neurological head injuries in football matches, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) approved trials to use additional permanent concussion substitutes (APCS).
The IFAB believes that where there is any doubt about a player having been concussed, the player should be protected by being “permanently” removed from the match and to facilitate this, the player’s team should not suffer a numerical disadvantage by prioritising the player’s welfare.
And the FA has agreed to engage in the IFAB trial by applying to use the IFAB Protocol B which allows each team to use a maximum of two APCS in Emirates FA Cup matches from the fifth round onwards in accordance with Rule 15(c)(ii) of the FA Cup Rules.
As a result, each team is permitted to use a maximum of two APCS from the list of nine substitutes named on the team sheet.
An APCS may be used regardless of the number of substitutes already used, but when an APCS is used, the opposing team then has the option to use an additional substitute for any reason.
Making an APCS is also separate from the limit of five normal substitutions, although a team is permitted to substitute a player with a suspected concussion injury using one of their five normal substitutes. In this case, the opposing team does not have the option to use an additional substitute.
Once a team has used all their normal substitution opportunities, they cannot use a concussion substitution opportunity to make a normal substitution (for any unused normal substitutes).
Where a team makes a concussion substitute, the opposing team receives an additional substitute and an additional substitution opportunity. This additional opportunity can only be used for the additional substitute and cannot be used for any normal substitute(s).
The fifth round kicks-off on Tuesday evening when Burnley host AFC Bournemouth and Manchester United take on West Ham United, before there are four ties played on Wednesday evening.
The fixtures are rounded off on Thursday when Wolves play Southampton and Barnsley host Chelsea. All games are being screened live in the UK via BT Sport or the BBC.