Resolutions of the DFL Members Assembly: Five substitutions still permitted – New rules for match postponements

Photo: DFL/Getty Images/Boris Streubel

30 May 2022 – Five substitutions per team will continue to be allowed in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. The Members Assembly of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga passed a resolution to this effect today. Each team will continue to have three opportunities during a match, as well as the half-time interval to make substitutions. This rule has already been applied during the last two seasons, and in the 2019-20 season after matches resumed in May 2020. Following today’s resolution of the Members Assembly, it is included in the DFL regulations indefinitely. The International Football Association Board (IFAB), which is responsible for the rules of the game, had previously approved the possibility of such an adjustment to the permitted number of substitutions.

Resolution on rules for match postponements

At today’s Members Assembly, the clubs in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 also approved a revision of the rules on the postponement of matches due to illness or injury. The “Football Commission”, comprising representatives of nine clubs, has assessed this issue intensively in recent months.

Accordingly, from the forthcoming 2022-23 season, a request to postpone a match due to illness or injury can only be made if at least 25 professional players (including at least 22 outfield players and three goalkeepers – each with professional status) are on the club’s list of eligible players relevant to the respective match at the time the request is being made. A request cannot be granted if at least 14 eligible professional players and/or amateur/contract players eligible to play in the professional team as per the list of eligible players are allowably available. They must include at least seven outfield players and one goalkeeper – each with professional status. A maximum of two goalkeepers are counted when calculating the number of available players. When the decision on the postponement of a match is being made, players who are removed from the club’s list of eligible players in a period of ten days before the application will be treated as if they were still included in the list of eligible players – unless they were removed as a result of a transfer to another club.

As has been the case for several years, players who are suspended or have sport-related injuries will continue to count as “allowably available”. However, in future, this will no longer apply to injured players for whom medical certificates of inability to work have been issued for a period totalling at least 20 days at the time of the application. After a match postponement request, the player licence for such players will be suspended until the end of a 20-day period from the start of inability to work if a match is also postponed due to the medically certified injury of a player.

In addition, a special “pandemic regulation” has been approved: a club can also request the postponement of a match if at least eleven of the professionals on the list of eligible players are in isolation due to infection with a relevant illness, or are in quarantine due to having been in contact with infected persons and are therefore not allowably available. Corresponding certificates must be attached to applications of this kind.

Transfer window extended by one day

A further resolution of the DFL Members Assembly relates to the summer transfer window opening on 1 July 2022 for the forthcoming 2022-23 season. The transfer window is being extended by one day up to and including Thursday, 1 September 2022. The update brings this year’s transfer window in line with other top European leagues, in order to prevent competitors in these countries from having a competitive edge over the clubs in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. To allow a transfer to be completed, the essential documents must still be submitted by 6:00 p.m. CEST on the last day of the transfer window at the latest.

With a view to the committee elections to be held at the 2022 DFL General Assembly on 17 August in Dortmund (Executive Committee of DFL e.V., Supervisory Board of DFL GmbH, Licensing Committee of DFL e.V.), the clubs resolved at today’s Members Assembly that, in future, only people who are attributable to a club in the Bundesliga or Bundesliga 2 and are allowed to represent this club as a legal representative, authorised signatory or special representative at the time of the election are allowed to stand.