Gareth Southgate handed boost as UEFA consider major Euro 2024 rule change
Posted by  badge Boss on Apr 18
Can Gareth Southgate bring football home this summer (Photo: Getty)

UEFA are strongly considering expanding the squad sizes for from 23 players to 26 – much to ’s approval.

With just under two months to go before this summer’s European championships kicks-off in , teams are advocating to make two major rule changes.

report that several countries want the deadline for naming their squads – which is currently midnight on Friday, 7 June – delayed.

That is because the last round of pre-tournament friendlies take place that evening, including vs Iceland and Scotland vs Finland, giving teams little time to assess any sudden injuries or make necessary changes.

UEFA regulations state that final squads have to be registered a week before the tournament begins on Friday, 14 June when hosts Germany take on Scotland in Munich.

That makes the chances of the rule change occurring very slim and moreover teams can still make alterations to the squad in the week building up to the tournament opener providing there is medical proof that the players dropping out are indeed injured.

However, Southgate and his fellow international managers will have better luck at getting UEFA to expand the squad sizes.

Southgate may not have to pick between Ivan Toney and Ollie Watkins after all (Photo: Getty)

Squads were expanded to 26 players at the last Euros and the 2022 World Cup due to the after effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, but are set to revert back to the traditional 23 this summer.

But in a recent meeting of the participating coaches, the idea of going back to 26 was put forward and while not everyone is in favour – namely Germany boss Julian Nagelsmann – a recommendation on the matter will be sent to UEFA who it is reported will likely approve the change and implement it.

In March, , though has previously spoken about it being easier to manage fewer players.

An expanded squad would certainly help given the number of injuries sustained to the England squad of late, with the likes of Luke Shaw, Marc Guehi and Nick Pope in a race against time to be fit for the tournament.

It should also get rid of several big selection headaches that the Three Lions boss is facing, most notably whether to pick Ollie Watkins or Ivan Toney or both as the back-up striker to Harry Kane.

England’s first game of Euro 2024 takes place on Sunday, 16 June against Serbia.

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