Teams participating in the 2019 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup will be allowed to make a fourth substitution should the match extend into extra-time.
The decision to do so was confirmed by the AFC on Friday. The fourth-substitution in extra-time rule had been enacted in this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia after its use was approved by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the global sport’s law-making body.
“The entire continent is eagerly awaiting Asia's most prestigious tournament and it is, therefore, essential that the AFC Asian Cup adopts the latest regulations," a statement from AFC president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa read.
"I am confident it will add to the excitement of Asia's flagship national team competition and further strengthen the AFC's ambitions to be the world's leading confederation,” the statement added.
The new regulations will be in place when the AFC U19 Championship kicks off in Indonesia on October 18. They will also apply to next year’s AFC U19 Women’s Championship as well as the 2020 AFC U23 Championship.
The AFC Competitions Committee has also approved the use of the rule in next year’s AFC Champions League as well as the AFC Cup.
The move to introduce the fourth-substitute rule comes on the heels of AFC agreeing to incorporate VAR (Video Assisted Referee) in the 2019 Asian Cup.
The 2019 AFC Asian Cup gets underway in the United Arab Emirates on January 5. India will be one of the 24 teams participating in the tournament and have been placed in Group A alongside hosts UAE, Thailand and Bahrain.