Wednesday, 25 October 2017


Questions have been asked of the competition's four substitutions rule, with some finding the wording of it to be unclear
Since changing its name to the Carabao Cup this season, the tournament has served up a number of bizarre incidents and the fourth round has produced another.

There was some confusion in the first round, before a ball was kicked, when Charlton Athletic were mistakenly drawn twice and then in the second round, the home/away allocations were mixed up. Of course, the decision to stream the third round draw live at 4am also prompted collective bemusement among fans.

This time, the controversy is swirling around two of England's biggest clubs - Arsenal and Manchester City - and whether or not they will retain their place in the competition over the application of the extra substitution rule in force.


Arsenal and Manchester City each used four substitutes in their fourth-round victories over Norwich City and Wolves respectively.
Now, the issue is not that they used four subs, which is allowed in the competition, but with the timing of their substitutions due to a perceived lack of clarity in the rules.

Both teams made two substitutions during normal time and then made two substitutions during extra time, which has prompted some debate. The confusion seems to stem from the wording of the rule pertaining to the use of four substitutes.

While Arsene Wenger was in no doubt that his team operated within the rules, Norwich boss Daniel Farke was unsure and the Canaries are reportedly going to seek clarification from the EFL.

The rules for substitutions in the Carabao Cup state that, when a game goes to extra time, each club participating in the game is "permitted to use an additional substitute (in extra time only)."
You can read the rule from the competition's rules and regulations in full below.

Carabao Cup substitutions

10.1 Subject to Rule 10.2, in all matches, each team is permitted up to seven substitutes of whom not more than three may take part in the match.

10.2 Where any match goes to extra time (in accordance with the provisions of Rules 14.4, 14.5 and/or 14.6), then subject to the League having obtained the prior approval of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) to the application of this Rule, each Club participating in that match will be permitted to use an additional substitute (in extra time only).


See Rule 19.1 which provides that Clubs must submit an additional monitoring form in relation to the use of any fourth substitute. These forms will be supplied by the EFL in electronic format. 10.3 All substitutes must be nominated and included on the official Team Sheet handed to the Referee prior to the match. Not more than three substitutes of each Club may warm up or down at the same time on the perimeter of the pitch on which the match is being played.

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