UEFA increases Euro 24 squad sizes to 26 players

May 5 – The UEFA Executive Committee has rubberstamped a recommendation from its national competitions committee to increase squad sizes from an original quota of 23 players to 26.

UEFA said that although the squad size has been increased, competing nations aren’t obliged to fill the full 26 slots now available.

The deadline for naming squads is June 7 with teams having to supply UEFA with a list of 23 players. Many teams will announce squads earlier, using the June 7 deadline as a last minute. England, for example, have said they will announce their squad on May 21. They play Iceland in a friendly on June 7 and will likely submit their final squad before the midnight deadline after that game.

The increased squad sizes will give flexibility to coaches to name players who may be coming back from injury but who they are unsure about whether they will complete recovery in time to play. An increase in squad sizes reduces the overall gamble of using a squad slot for a player who might not make it back to fitness during the tournament.

The new rules will not affect substitutions which will remain at a maximum of five, with a sixth being allowed in extra time.

The rules will affect the space on team benches in stadia though. Under the old competition wording the rules stated that “the team officials and substitute players indicated on the match sheet, up to a total of 23 people, are allowed to sit on the team bench. Seating must be provided for 23 people.”

But with the addition of three squad players, stadiums may not be flexible enough to accommodate the expanded number of players. Hence UEFA has adjusted the rule meaning that more players will likely have to sit in the stands.

“The team officials and substitute players indicated on the match sheet, up to a total of 23 people, are allowed to sit on the team bench. Seating must be provided for 23 people. All the substitutes and the team doctor indicated on the match sheet must be seated on the team bench during the match,” said the ruling.

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