Teams in all competitions will have the option of bringing on five substitutes through the 2020-21 season, the International Football Association Board confirmed Wednesday.
IFAB said it extended the measure because of the "impact on player welfare of competitions being played in a condensed period and in different weather conditions."
The organization amended the rule - which previously limited substitutions to three per match - as European leagues prepared to resume play in May. Most domestic competitions were suspended for three months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It's unclear if the rule will apply to national teams competing in the European Championship and Copa America, which were postponed until the summer of 2021. Both tournaments are expected to begin June 11, 2021. IFAB said it will extend the option to international competitions taking place in July and August 2021.
Managers will only have three opportunities to make changes during a match. Changes at halftime won't count toward that limit of three.
IFAB, which determines the laws of the game and is independent from FIFA, said most leagues will continue to cram in matches in order to complete the 2020-21 season. Leagues like the Italian Serie A, which is expected to play into August, will also have a shorter turnaround between the current season and the next.
The exemption has drawn criticism from several leading figures in the football industry, including Sky Sports pundits and former Premier League players Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher.
"This is nonsense!" Carragher wrote on Twitter.
Some believe the ruling benefits richer clubs with deeper squads, while others see it as an opportunity to give academy graduates and youngsters more playing time.