It’s been announced that Arsenal will be allowed to bring on a fourth substitute against Lincoln City in the FA Cup should their tie go to extra time.

The FA have decided to be the International Football Association Board’s (IFAB’s) guinea pigs and test a new rule that if a match goes to extra time, each team is allowed to bring on a fourth substitution if they’ve already used their standard three. The idea being that it’s less risky for the players’ fitness, since they’re playing an extra 30 minutes on top of the usual 90.

Plus, it makes things a bit more exciting since the manager will have another chance to change the game, adding a new twist and drawing in more interest when it comes to the sport.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn said, “The Emirates FA Cup is renowned for its great history and tradition but, as the game’s governing body, it is important The FA continues to look at how it can further add to the drama and spectacle of a competition loved by millions around the world.

“With The Cup now adopting a straight knockout format from the quarter finals onwards, the introduction of a fourth substitute in extra time will bring extra intrigue and interest. 

“Also, from a technical point of view, it will be interesting to see how managers use the chance to make an additional substitution in such high-profile games and the impact it has on the final result.  

“Player welfare and being mindful of the number of games people play at the elite level has also been a consideration.”

Arsenal v Lincoln won’t be the only clash seeing the fourth substitute rule tested. Spurs v Millwall and Chelsea v Manchester United will also see the rule implemented.

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