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Warum Frankreich siebenmal auswechseln durfte

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Status: 12/18/2022 7:13 p.m

France changed seven players in the course of the World Cup final against Argentina – the background is two special rules.

After the regular 90 minutes and 30 minutes of extra time, France had seven substitutions on the list. Five changes in three interruptions are actually allowed per team. But France was able to make two more changes.

The reasons:

Renewal: In extra time, an additional change was allowed to be made at the World Cup. This is possible in many, but not in every competition.
head injury: FIFA is taking part in a testing procedure for the IFAB’s rule enforcement bodies. According to this, a team in which a player has a suspected concussion gets an additional substitution. This is intended to take pressure off teams from allowing a player to continue playing with a head injury. Adrien Rabiot was suspected of suffering a head injury and was allowed to be substituted. Caution is required in the event of head injuries

Continuing to play despite a possible concussion is a scenario often criticized in football. Because continuing to play with a concussion can, in the worst case, endanger life – namely if there is a second blow to the head afterwards.

Therefore, in a test, the IFAB allowed an additional, permanent change to be made.

Argentina clinched their third World Cup title on penalties in the final – also thanks to Messi. France disappointed for a long time but Kylian Mbappé came back several times.

Player unions prefer temporary changes

However, players’ unions have been calling for temporary changes in recent months, allowing players to return to the pitch.

The idea: There is a substitute on the pitch while the possibly injured player is examined. In this way, the game could continue while reducing the time pressure on medical staff and players.

IFAB advocates permanent changes

The rule guardians of the IFAB have been dealing with the topic, especially since 2020 – and have a different opinion than the unions. “Basically, we take the position that additional permanent substitutions are the right way,” said IFAB Managing Director Lukas Brud in an interview with the sports show.

The reason: In the case of concussions, some symptoms can appear later – after 30 minutes or even after 72 hours. The danger could be that a player who has been substituted with a concussion that has not been recognized continues to play.

FIFA: “The team doctor has the last word”

The question remains: can the rules solve the problem at all? Culturally, too, it has to be established in football that a substitution is a heroic act, not continuing to play. According to the regulations, the team doctors are responsible for this.

FIFA’s World Cup rules prescribe a certain form of investigation if a concussion is suspected. The referees are allowed to interrupt for three minutes and are only allowed to let the player continue playing with the permission of the team doctor. The team doctor has the last word due to the examination, writes FIFA. “He can expressly prohibit a player from returning if he suspects a concussion.”

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