Reprieve for England as Fifa waives subs rule in T&T game

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The Independent Online

Fifa yesterday announced they will not wipe England's friendly against Trinidad & Tobago from the record books despite a mistake over substitutions. Football's world governing body did not give special dispensation for seven rather than the maximum of six substitutions, but said that it had been a mistake by referee Enrico Wijngaarde.

Several England players made their first appearances in the friendly and David Beckham regained the captaincy for the first time since stepping down after the 2006 World Cup. The 3-0 win also meant England moved back inside the world's top 10 teams.

Fifa said in a statement: "Fifa can confirm it did not give special dispensation to make up to seven substitutions at the Trinidad & Tobago v England match. The referee confirmed to Fifa that he received no instruction to allow for such a special dispensation, but that it had been a mistake by the referee. As Fifa has received no official protest regarding this match, it shall be considered as an official match."

The decision will be a relief for the Football Association, who used the match to gain support for their bid to host the 2018 World Cup finals from Fifa vice-president Jack Warner.

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