How Many Substitutions Are Allowed in World Cup Knockout Stages?


The 2022 World Cup is intensifying as the knockout stages get underway.

In group stage play, games end after 90 minutes plus stoppage time, and each team is awarded a point for their efforts.

However, that’s not the case if the game is even in the knockout rounds. In this scenario, the game would go into extra time, which is two separate 15-minute periods to see if either side can break the deadlock. If not, the game goes to a penalty shootout.

But how does this affect extra substitutions? Let’s break down the rules: 

How many substitutions are allowed in the 2022 World Cup?

Managers used to have three substitutions at their disposal, but that has changed in recent years following the COVID-19 pandemic. With player health playing a big factor, two extra subs were added to the game.

In total, managers in the World Cup are allowed five substitutions in regulation. Not counting halftime, managers have three separate times to make these changes throughout the game in order to prevent potential time-wasting towards the closing stages of a tight contest.

Can managers make a substitution in extra time?

Yes, managers are allowed an extra substitution if a game goes to extra time, bringing the total to six should a game need two more 15-minute periods to find another goal. 

Does a concussion substitution count towards the total substitute allotment? 

In the event a player suffers a concussion in a game, the substitution a manager makes does not count towards the five-sub allotment. So, theoretically, a manager could make as much as seven substitutions in a game if there was a concussion situation and extra time in one match.

Additionally, if there was a concussion substitution made, the opposing team also receives another substitution to keep it balanced for both sides.

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