Sports News

West Ham boss Moyes not opposed to return of five substitutes rule

Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v West Ham United - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - October 31, 2020 West Ham United manager David Moyes during the match Pool via REUTERS/Clive Brunskill

(Reuters) - West Ham United manager David Moyes said he would not be against the reintroduction of a rule change allowing five substitutes in a match amid growing concerns over player welfare.

In May, soccer’s rule-making body IFAB changed regulations governing the maximum number of substitutes to help teams battling fixture congestion as they looked to complete the season after a three-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

IFAB left it to individual leagues to decide if they wanted to adopt the rule this season and Premier League clubs voted against continuing it.

Moyes said he was initially against the rule as he thought it would be an advantage to the league’s top sides.

“I think player welfare is massively important,” Moyes told the Times. “But we have also got to say that the bigger clubs will probably have a better choice of five substitutes to bring on.

“I do think that when we were making the decision, the clubs lower down did think the bigger teams would get an advantage from it.

“But I am now in full agreement that a player’s welfare is more important and if the decision was overturned I wouldn’t be dead against it. But I still think it helps the sides with the bigger and stronger squads.”

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford