Southgate gets his wish, as UEFA set to permit 26-man squads for Euros

Gareth Southgate England national team head coach || Credit: Imago

Southgate gets his wish, as UEFA set to permit 26-man squads for Euros

Faruq Ibrahim 17:41 - 23.04.2024

After putting it to a vote, UEFA will now permit an increase in squad size for the coming Euros, from 23 to 26.

All teams participating in this summer’s European Championship finals will be allowed to select 26 players, following Uefa's decision to increase the size of squads.

A vote by the influential national competitions committee approved the motion to maintain the 26-player limit, which was introduced as an emergency measure for the Covid-disrupted tournament in 2021. 

Originally, squad numbers were set to be reduced to the traditional 23 for this summer's tournament in Germany. However, this proposal faced resistance from several national coaches, including England’s Gareth Southgate. The decision must now be signed off by Uefa’s executive, with the process expected to be completed as early as this week.

Gareth Southgate's Support

England’s head coach, Gareth Southgate, has been a vocal advocate for 26-player squads, citing the physical demands on his players during the league season as a reason for the expanded squad size. 

Gareth Southgate
England manager Gareth Southgate (Imago/Every Second Media) Gareth Southgate has been fiercely censured since England's loss to Brazil (Imago/Every Second Media)

Speaking last month, according to the Guardian, about his support for maintaining an expanded squad list, Southgate stated, “Given where we are now," it would be helpful. He emphasised the importance of making the best decisions regarding selection, especially considering medical factors.

Southgate highlighted the challenges of managing a squad of 23 players and stated that with a larger squad, "we’ve been able to give people time [to recover, having named them in the squad]. But with 23 that’s definitely more difficult.”

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