The initial limit for the 2024 European Championships was 23 players; however, UEFA have verified that it has been increased to 26 players.

Unlike the last competition in 2021, when teams may have up to 26 players. Unfortunately, three of them were unable to participate and had to settle for spectator status.

Even though they were eligible, players like Sergio Ramos and Leroy Sane have gone unselected in prior big tournaments. The new regulations greatly increase the likelihood that all of the top talents will play.

This ruling raises the possibility that all future UEFA national tournaments will have 26-player teams. With the European Championships coming up in only six weeks, this will be helpful for national teams coping with injury concerns.

There has been considerable lobbying by competing nations, who are keen to have as much space in their squad as possible.

Keep in mind that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar also included 26-player groups. This was because, back then, the competition was located smack dab in the center of the domestic season.

The squad change will be gladly received
The squad change will be gladly received

The squad change will be gladly received

What did UEFA say?

“The UEFA Executive Committee has today decided to increase the maximum squad size of the teams participating in the upcoming UEFA EURO 2024 from the original quota of 23 to 26 players.

The increase does not represent an obligation for the participating national associations”, UEFA have stated.

“In accordance with the competition regulations, teams must provide UEFA with a list containing a minimum of 23 players and a maximum of 26 by the deadline of 7 June.”

Previously several foreign coaches felt the 23-player rosters were too small. With so many players suffering injuries this season, Ronald Koeman and Gareth Southgate have advocated for a larger roster.

“It is about the load carrying ability of the players”, said Koeman. Then, Southgate chimed in as well: “Well, given where we are now [we need 26-man rosters]! We’ve got to make the best decisions [regarding selection] with what we know and some of those currently are going to be medical decisions.

“We’ve been able to get those right in the previous [two] tournaments. We’ve been able to give people time [to recover from injuries, having named them in the squad]. But with 23 that’s definitely more difficult.”

The plan to move to 26-player teams got a lot of support at the most recent Euro 2024 coaches meeting, as per BBC.

CONMEBOL to follow suit

Managers will feel less pressure as the event approaches (it starts on June 14) thanks to the move. Especially since UEFA had intended to return to the previous 23-man roster limit.

In addition, the number of players on the Copa America roster will most likely go up from 23 to 26. Official confirmation from CONMEBOL is anticipated shortly.

“Almost certainly the list for the Copa America is 26 players and not 23, it would be a list like the World Cup. CONMEBOL is soon to confirm it”, said journalist Hernan Castillo.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Herrmann Agenturfotografie