Explained: Why France made 7 substitutions in the final
The final between France and Argentina will be remembered for many things, but one detail may have escaped most viewers.
French coach Didier Deschamps made a total of 7 substitutions over the course of 120 minutes, which is historic and needs further explanation.
The well-known regulation foresees five shifts in the regular 90 minutes and one additional one in extra time.
So what is the rule that allows a seventh shift?
It is about the new protocol that comes into play when there is a suspicion of a concussion in one of the competitors.
Adrien Rabiot was substituted during the first extra time after receiving a blow to the head and precisely because of the new rule, his substitution did not count towards those that Deschamps was entitled to make.
Rabiot collided with Julián Alvarez in the 89th minute and at first tried to continue playing, but soon after the start of extra time it became clear that he could not continue.
His substitution with Youssef Fofana was at No.5 for the Roosters, but as it did not add to the total, Deschamps was given the opportunity to subsequently bring on Ibrahima Konate and Axel Disassi as well.
France still lost the epic duel after 3:3 in regular time and extra time and 2:4 on penalties.