13 Reasons to Make a Substitution

Making a Substitution in Soccer
FIFA Rules
Craig Brown – Scottish National Team Coach
1993 – 2001
Extract By Jeff Tipping. USC Director of Coach Education Emeritus

  1. Injury to a player.
  2. Tactical.
  3. On yellow card.
  4. Vetting young players to give them experience.
  5. Disobedience – Not performing tasks given.
  6. Stop flow of game.
  7. Slow play down. (For example  in stoppage time.)
  8. Give crowd a chance to acknowledge a superior performance for a player.
  9. If player is participating in a Testimonial match.
  10. Substitution to take a penalty.
  11. Substitution to stop a penalty – Normally GK sub.
  12. Poor performance.
  13. Give a player a bonus (In some clubs players only get a win bonus if they play – even just for a brief time.)

Substitution Protocols

Craig Brown has also spoken of his “Protocol” when making substitutions. He tells the players he shall not shake their hand as they exit the field. This prevents assumptions, by onlookers, as to why the substitution has been made. If the coach offers a handshake and the player refuses then a problem arises which will have to be addressed at some level. Also - 

  • Technical areas are, often, 20+ yards from tunnel – too far for the coach to walk to the player. 
  • Player has been brought off for indiscipline – are you going to shake his/her hand?
  • To avoid any criticism, the replaced player may NOT make any comment on the game. ALL replaced players must sit down and remain quiet.