Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, left, is substituted for Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Everton at the Etihad stadium in Manchester, Sunday, May 23, 2021.(AP Photo/Dave Thompson, Pool)

ZURICH (AP) — A pandemic-era rule giving competition organizers the option to let teams use five substitutes in a match was extended Friday through 2022.

FIFA can now apply the policy at next year's World Cup in Qatar.

“The decision follows a global analysis of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on football,” the International Football Association Board said in a statement.

The interim rule was introduced last May to help players avoid injury and ease their workload. They resumed playing in a congested schedule after a near-total shutdown of the sport because of the pandemic.

The latest extension covers competitions “scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31, 2022” — including the World Cup but not domestic competitions that start in 2022 and run into 2023.

Teams can use five substitutes instead of three in the regulation 90 minutes and a sixth in extra time of knockout games.

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