FIFA rules panel to decide on 4th sub in extra time

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ZURICH (AP) — FIFA's rule makers could decide this month to let teams use a fourth substitute in extra time.

The idea could take effect in July if the proposal is passed at a meeting of the International Football Association Board, known as IFAB, in Northern Ireland on Feb. 28.

Designed to help teams cope with tired and injured players in the extra 30 minutes of play, the plan has been supported by World Cup-winning Germany coach Joachim Loew.

It's the most high-profile decision set to be taken by IFAB, which will also begin discussions about the potential use of video replays to aid refereeing discussions. FIFA President Sepp Blatter surprised IFAB members in Brazil when he launched that idea last June at the governing body's congress in Sao Paulo.

Other items of discussion included on the agenda released Monday includes whether to relax a "triple punishment" rule where a defender can make a challenge that results in a penalty kick, a red card and suspension. A proposal by the U.S. Soccer Federation could change the way stoppage time is calculated, by giving the fourth officials their own match clock to advise referees and give a more accurate estimate.

Other ongoing talks and trials include "sin bins" in youth football to sideline players for several minutes as a replacement for some red-card offenses.

IFAB includes delegates from the four British football associations and FIFA. Since last year, it takes advice from panels of technical and football experts selected from across the world.

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