Substitute (football)

Substitute (football)

A substitute is a player in association football who is brought on to the pitch during a match in exchange for an existing player. Substitutions are generally made to replace a player who has become tired, injured or who is not performing well, or for other tactical reasons such as bringing an attacker on in place of a defender when goals are required.


As early as the qualifying phase for the 1954 World Cup, substitutions were permitted during games, the first ever replacement being Horst Eckel of Germany during their match with the Saarland on October 11 1953. [ [ First World Cup qualifying substitute] , 1953: "" website. Retrieved on April 16 2008.]

Substitutions during English league matches were first permitted in the 1965-66 season. During the first two seasons after the law was introduced, each side was permitted only one substitution during a game. Moreover the substitute could only replace an injured player. From the 1967-68 season, this rule was relaxed to allow substitutions for tactical reasons. [ Facts about substitutes] : "" website. Retrieved on April 16 2008.] The term "super-sub" refers to a substitution made by the Coach (or Manager) that subsequently saves the game, e.g. by scoring a winning goal, or a player frequently used in this role, e.g. former Liverpool forward David Fairclough. [ [ David Fairclough] , 'super sub': Liverpool F.C. website. Retrieved on April 16 2008.]

On August 21 1965, Keith Peacock of Charlton Athletic became the first substitute used in the Football League when he replaced injured goalkeeper Mike Rose eleven minutes into their away match against Bolton Wanderers. [ [,9204,527236,00.html First ever Football League substitute] , Keith Peacock: The Guardian website. Retrieved on April 16 2008.]

Archie Gemmill of St. Mirren was the first substitute to come on in a Scottish first-class match, on August 13 1966 in a League Cup tie against Clyde when he replaced Jim Clunie after 23 minutes.

The first official substitute in a Scottish League match was Paul Conn for Queen's Park v. Albion Rovers in a Division 2 match on August 24 1966. Previously, on January 20 1917, a player called Morgan came on for the injured Morrison of Partick Thistle after 5 minutes against Rangers at Firhill, but this was an isolated case and the Scottish League did not authorise substitutes until 1966.

In latter years, the number of substitutes permitted in Football League matches has gradually increased, at present each team is permitted to name five or seven substitutes depending on the country and competition, of which a maximum of three may be used. In the UK, the Premier League increased the number to 5 in 1996, and it was announced that the number available on the bench would be 7 for the 2008-09 season. [ [ Number of players to choose from increased to 7] , 2008-09: Daily Mirror website. Retrieved on April 16 2008.]

Relevant laws

According to the Laws of the Game (2007-08): [ [ Laws of the Game 2007-08] : PDF file (page 16) at the website. Retrieved on April 16 2008.]

Procedure and restrictions

A player may only be substituted during a stoppage in play and with the permission of the referee. The player to be substituted (outgoing player) must have left the field of play before the substitute (incoming player) may enter the field of play; at that point the substitute becomes a player and the person substituted ceases to be a player. The incoming player may only enter the field at the half-way line. Failure to comply with these provisions may be punished by a caution (yellow card).

A player who has been substituted may take no further part in a match.

Both people nominated as substitutes though not yet used and players who have been substituted remain under the authority of the referee, and are liable for misconduct, though can not be said to have committed a foul.

Under the Laws, the referee has no specific power to force a player to be substituted, even if the team manager or captain has ordered their player to be substituted. If a player refuses to be substituted play may simply resume with that player on the field. However, in some situations players may still be liable to punishment with a caution (yellow card) for time wasting or unsporting behaviour.

Number of substitutes

Official competitions

* Up to a maximum of three substitutes may be used in any match played in an official competition organised under the auspices of FIFA, the confederations or the member associations.
* The rules of the competition must state how many substitutes may be nominated, from two up to a maximum of seven.

Other matches

* In national A team matches, up to a maximum of six substitutes may be used.
* In all other matches, a greater number of substitutes may be used provided that:
** the teams concerned reach agreement on a maximum number;
** the referee is informed before the match.
* If the referee is not informed, or if no agreement is reached before the match, no more than six substitutes are allowed.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Substitute — may mean:In General English Usage:To replace one thing with anotherIn sport:A person who replaces an exiting competitor during the course of a game, as permitted by the laws of the game. Such replacements are generally made for tactical reasons,… …   Wikipedia

  • Substitute player — A substitute player (sometimes referred to as interchange player) is a concept or term used in many different team sports where a team is able to change one player for another whilst a match is in play.Including:* Australian rules football… …   Wikipedia

  • Football in Croatia — Founded 1912 FIFA affiliation 1941 The Croatian Football Federation President Vlatko Marković Football in Croatia, called nogomet, is the most popular team sport in the country and is led by the Croatian Foot …   Wikipedia

  • football — /foot bawl /, n. 1. a game in which two opposing teams of 11 players each defend goals at opposite ends of a field having goal posts at each end, with points being scored chiefly by carrying the ball across the opponent s goal line and by place… …   Universalium

  • Football records in England — This page details football records in England.National team See England national football team records. LeagueRecords in this section refer to The Football League from its founding in 1888 through to 1992, and to both the Premier League and The… …   Wikipedia

  • Substitute (film) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Substitute (homonymie). Substitute est un film documentaire français de Vikash Dhorasoo et Fred Poulet, sorti le 14 février 2007. Il suit l itinéraire du footballeur Vikash Dhorasoo avant et pendant la Coupe du… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Substitute (cricket) — A substitute in the sport of cricket is a replacement player that the umpires allow when a player has been injured or become ill after the nomination of the players at the start of the game. The rules for substitutes all appear in Law 2 of the… …   Wikipedia

  • substitute — replace, substitute 1. The typical construction is to replace A with B (or, in the passive, B is replaced by A), or B can simply replace A, whereas with substitute it is to substitute B for A or to substitute B without any continuation (more… …   Modern English usage

  • Substitute (film) — Infobox Film name = Substitute caption = imdb id = 0922626 writer = Vikash Dhorasoo Fred Poulet starring = Vikash Dhorasoo Gregory Coupet Mickael Landreau Fred Poulet director = Vikash Dhorasoo Fred Poulet producer = Nicolas Brevière Pierre… …   Wikipedia

  • Football in Germany — Allianz Arena in Munich, venue for the 2006 FIFA World Cup opening game …   Wikipedia

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.