FIFA Futsal Laws of the Game: The Players FIFA Futsal Laws of the Game: The Players
Players A match is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than five players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. A match... FIFA Futsal Laws of the Game: The Players

Players

A match is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than five players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. A match may not start if either team consists of fewer than three players. The match is abandoned if one of the teams has fewer than three players on the pitch.

Official competitions

Up to a maximum of nine substitutes may be used in any match played in an official competition organised under the auspices of FIFA, the confederations or the member associations. The rules of the competition must state how many substitutes may be nominated, up to a maximum of nine.

The number of substitutions that may be made during a match is unlimited.

Other matches

In national “A” team matches, up to a maximum of ten substitutes may be used. In all other matches, a greater number of substitutes may be used, provided that:

  • the teams concerned reach agreement on a maximum number
  • the referees are informed before the match

If the referees are not informed, or if no agreement is reached before the match, no more than ten substitutes are allowed.

All matches

In all matches, the names of the players and substitutes must be given to the referees prior to the start of the match, whether they are present or not. Any substitute whose name is not given to the referees at this time may not take part in the match.

Substitution procedure

A substitution may be made at any time, whether the ball is in play or not. To replace a player with a substitute, the following conditions must be observed:

  • The player leaves the pitch via his own team’s substitution zone, save in the exceptions provided for in the Futsal Laws of the Game
  • The substitute only enters the pitch after the player being replaced has left
  • The substitute enters the pitch via his own team’s substitution zone
  • The substitution is completed when a substitute enters the pitch via his own team’s substitution zone, after handing his bib to the player being replaced, unless this player has had to leave the pitch via another zone for any reason provided for in the Laws of the Game, in which case the substitute shall hand his bib to the third referee • From that moment, the substitute becomes a player and the player he has replaced becomes a substituted player
  • The substituted player may take further part in the match
  • All substitutes are subject to the authority and jurisdiction of the referees, whether called upon to play or not
  • If a period is extended to allow a penalty kick, a kick from the second penalty mark or a direct free kick without a wall to be taken, only the goalkeeper of the defending team may be substituted

Changing the goalkeeper

  • Any of the substitutes may change places with the goalkeeper without informing the referees or waiting for a stoppage in the match
  • Any player may change places with the goalkeeper
  • The player changing places with the goalkeeper must do so during a stoppage in the match and must inform the referees before the change is made
  • A player or substitute replacing the goalkeeper must wear a goalkeeper’s jersey with his number on the back

Infringements and sanctions

If a substitute enters the pitch before the player being replaced has left or, during a substitution, a substitute enters the pitch from a place other than his own team’s substitution zone

  • the referees stop play (although not immediately if they can apply the advantage)
  • the referees caution him for infringing the substitution procedure and order him to leave the pitch

If the referees have stopped play, it is restarted with an indirect free kick to the opposing team from the position of the ball at the time of the stoppage (see Law 13 – Position of free kick). If this substitute or his team also commits another infringement, play is restarted in accordance with the section entitled “Interpretation of the Futsal Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees” (Law 3).

If, during a substitution, the player being replaced leaves the pitch for reasons not provided for in the Futsal Laws of the Game and via a place other than his own team’s substitution zone:

  • the referees stop play (although not immediately if they can apply the advantage)
  • the referees caution the player for infringing the substitution procedure

If the referees have stopped play, it is restarted with an indirect free kick to the opposing team from the position of the ball at the time of the stoppage (see Law 13 – Position of free kick).

In the event of any other infringements of this Law:

  • the players concerned are cautioned
  • the match is restarted with an indirect free kick to the opposing team from the position of the ball at the time of the stoppage (see Law 13 – Position of free kick). In special cases, play is restarted in accordance with the section entitled “Interpretation of the Futsal Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees” (Law 3)

Players and substitutes sent off

A player who has been sent off before the kick-off may be replaced only by one of the named substitutes.
A named substitute who has been sent off, either before the kick-off or after play has started, may not be replaced.
A substitute may replace a sent-off player and enter the pitch after two minutes of playing time have elapsed since the sending-off, provided that he has the authorisation of the timekeeper or the third referee (assistant referees), unless a goal is scored before the two minutes have elapsed, in which case the following conditions apply:

  • If there are five players against four and the team with the greater number of players scores a goal, the team with only four players may be completed with a fifth player
  • If both teams are playing with three or four players and a goal is scored, both teams remain with the same number of players
  • If there are five players playing against three, or four against three, and the team with the greater number of players scores a goal, the team with three players may be increased by one player only
  • If the team that scores the goal is the one with fewer players, the game continues without changing the number of players