UEFA open to bid from coaches for 26-man Euro 2024 squads

European Championship organiser UEFA said on Thursday it will listen to national team coaches if they want bigger squads of 26 players instead of 23 for the tournament in Germany.

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman said this week the number of injuries in modern football meant it was absurd to return to the traditional squad size of 23.

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Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased 26-man squads were allowed by UEFA at Euro 2020, a delayed edition played in 2021, and at FIFA’s 2022 World Cup.

If players were isolated for health reasons, their replacements were already in camp and complying with the mandatory protocols.

UEFA decided last year on 23-player squads for Euro 2024.

It will host coaches and officials from the 24 teams in two weeks in Düsseldorf, Germany.

“A workshop with the participating teams will be held on April 8 and on that occasion UEFA will listen to the views of the coaches,” the European football body said. “Any idea in this respect will then be considered and assessed.”

Koeman wants his national federation to ask UEFA for an increase and noted this week “you have to deal more with injuries these days.”

“It is about the load carrying ability of the players,” Koeman said on Tuesday after his team’s 2-1 loss to Germany, suggesting host team coach Julian Nagelsmann agreed.

England coach Gareth Southgate said there had been a “little bit of talk amongst some of the coaches” to ask for 26.

Southgate said he did not plan to pressure UEFA for an increase, though acknowledged the extra numbers would lessen the risk of selecting preferred players who carried injuries.

“We’ve been able to give people time,” said Southgate, who is taking England to his fourth major tournament as the coach, “but with 23 that’s definitely more difficult.”

It is unclear how many of the 24 coaches want a larger squad that would include more players likely not getting game time on the field.

Euro 2024 is from June 14-July 14 in 10 German cities.