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UEFA to consider 26-man squads for Euro 2024 amid player welfare concerns

UEFA to consider 26-man squads for Euro 2024 amid player welfare concerns

National teams competing in the 2024 European Championships may have a little more breathing room on their benches. 

The Athletic reports that UEFA is considering a proposal to increase squad sizes from 23 to 26 players for the tournament.

This potential change comes after UEFA acknowledged comments expressed by some national team coaches on the squad size for the upcoming Euros.

England manager Gareth Southgate saw his international break plagued by injuries, highlighting the strain a congested schedule puts on the players.

Southgate initially named a 25-man squad for the friendlies against Brazil and Belgium. But those plans quickly unravelled as Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire, John Stones and Bukayo Saka succumbed to injuries.

Harry Kane was also forced to withdraw from the England camp before the second match due to an ankle issue he picked up before the international break.

These setbacks have reignited Southgate’s call for an increased squad size for the upcoming tournament in Germany

He previously expressed support for 26-man squads, and the latest injury crisis will likely strengthen his argument when he presents the proposal at the UEFA coaches’ meeting next month.

UEFA’s move echoes the decisions made for Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup, which allowed for 26-man squads due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While UEFA initially planned to revert to the traditional 23-player format for Euro 2024, the concerns of managers seem to be gaining traction.

A final decision will be made at a workshop with representatives from all participating teams on April 8. 

The workshop in Dusseldorf will be a crucial two days for managers, who will have the opportunity to discuss not just squad size but other potential tournament regulations and logistics.

With the physical demands on players at an all-time high, the potential expansion of squads could offer national teams greater flexibility and depth during the Euros.

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