The J. League will consider allowing five substitutes instead of three when official matches resume due to the scheduling backlog caused by the coronavirus delay, sources close to the matter revealed Tuesday.
The new policy would require the changes to be made during three stoppages in play, while a sixth substitute would be allowed in YBC Levain Cup matches that go into extra time.
Sources said the measure, aimed at alleviating player fatigue in a condensed schedule, was not opposed when it was suggested at a meeting of the league's operators and will be discussed by the executive committee in May.
"Matches will be more exciting if the number of substitutions is increased. It's highly likely this will happen," an executive committee member said.
FIFA, soccer's international governing body, has already said it wants to use the same system due to the interruptions caused worldwide by the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, J. League chairman Mitsuru Murai said holding games behind closed doors is now an option the league has to consider when the top two divisions resume, and the third division begins, their 2020 seasons.
At the earliest, the J. League expects to hold official matches from the second week of June.
The league is also considering reducing the Levain Cup's first round from six to three matches and eliminating the home-and-away format for the quarterfinals and semifinals.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.
Your news needs your support
Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on the impact of the novel coronavirus as well as practical information about how to cope with the pandemic. Please consider subscribing today so we can continue offering you up-to-date, in-depth news about Japan.