Tuesday, April 23, 2024

UEFA to consider increasing Euro 2024 squad sizes at meeting next month

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 Mar 2024

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UEFA will consider a possible increase in the size of squads for Euro 2024 at a meeting next month.

A number of coaches have called on European football’s governing body to allow countries to take 26 players to Germany instead of 23, a move England boss Gareth Southgate may be glad to accept as he deals with a number of injuries.

“We have taken note of comments expressed by some national team coaches on the squad size for Euro 2024,” UEFA said in a statement released on Friday.

“A workshop with the participating teams will be held on 8 April and on that occasion UEFA will listen to the views of the coaches.

“Any idea in this respect will then be considered and assessed.”

This summer’s finals is the first time since the 2018 World Cup that national team managers are having to pick a 23-man squad for a major tournament after it was expanded to 26 following the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking after his side’s 2-2 draw with Belgium at Wembley, Southgate said: “It seems to be (settled at 23).

“There is one more UEFA meeting where there’s been a little bit of talk amongst some of the coaches about possibly increasing that.”

That meeting will be part of a wider finalists’ workshop on April 8 and 9 in Dusseldorf, where Southgate will not push for 26 but will accept it if the decision goes that way.

Southgate, who has previously said it is a “bigger skill to pick a 23”, was asked if he was in favour of a move to an expanded selection and said with a smile: “Well, given where we are now!

“We’ve got to make the best decisions with what we know and some of those currently are going to be medical decisions.

“And we’ve been able to get those right in the previous tournaments. We’ve been able to give people time, but with 23 that’s definitely more difficult.”

Previous expanded selections allowed Southgate to take a calculated gamble on the fitness of Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson at Euro 2020 as the pair recovered from injury.

The same went for Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips at the 2022 World Cup as they worked their way back to fitness, with injured duo Luke Shaw and Reece James potential beneficiaries if it goes to 26 this time.

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