Euro 2020 squad sizes to be increased from 23 to 26 players

April 28 – UEFA will allow national teams to expand their squads from 23 to 26 players at this summer’s Euro 2020 in a bid to lessen the load on players amid a congested calendar due to the global health crisis.

The national teams committee of the European confederation took the decision on Monday which will now be subject to ratification by UEFA’s executive committee.

The inclusion of three extra players will allow managers and teams to navigate playing load and fatigue better after a long and exhausting club season.

Final squads must be submitted to UEFA by June 1, with the European championship kicking off 10 days later in Rome and culminating with the final on July 11 at London’s Wembley Stadium.

The new rule heeds concerns raised by various national team coaches during the last international window in March, when countries once again were involved in triple headers to kick off Europe’s World Cup qualifying campaign for Qatar 2022.

Belgium national team coach Roberto Martinez called expanding squads to 26 or more players “a necessity”.

At a news conference after Belgium’s mammoth 8-0 win against Belarus, the Spaniard said: “The Belgian FA and I completely support the idea of increasing the squad numbers. It is something that is needed.

“It would mirror the changes that have been made in world football currently with the five substitutions and the uncertainty of the pandemic and the extra level of injuries. It would be a good solution to have extra players; that could be 26,27, an extra player per position. It is a good idea for UEFA to consider going forward.”

Earlier, Italy coach Roberto Mancini had cautioned over the lingering threat of Covid-19 for tournament football and a scenario that would leave coaches scrambling for players. “What if someone tests positive for corona at the European Championship?” Mancini told Italian broadcaster RAI. “It would be tricky to select another player because they will all be on holidays. It would be a good idea to expand squads to 25, 26 players. If you UEFA would take this decision, I would definitely be in favour.”

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1638848006labto1638848006ofdlr1638848006owedi1638848006sni@o1638848006fni1638848006