Didier Deschamps and the other breeders know what to expect. In view of the next 2022 World Cup in Qatar, FIFA has decided to increase the maximum number of players for each selection to 26 “Between 23 and 26 players can now make the final list“, wrote the international federation in a press release.
FIFA explained that it adopted this measure “in view of dealing with the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic and the unusual period in which the World Cup will take place“, namely in November-December and not during the summer, which will have the consequence of interrupting the season for football clubs in Europe. UEFA had already adopted a similar enlargement of the lists last year before the Euro, faced with the risks of Covid-19 contamination and quarantine which threatened to depopulate the workforce, an unprecedented measure since the national teams went from 22 to 23 players during the 2001 Confederations Cup.
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The European coaches were nevertheless divided on this measure which, if it offered them more sporting choice, also posed new problems in terms of management of the workforce and the egos for the less used players.
15 substitutes on the bench
England coach Gareth Southgate had thus estimated that “choosing 23 players is a skill” to be valued for a coach, while Luis Enrique, boss of the Spain team, had preferred to be content with calling 24 players for the Euro. . This expansion of the lists to 26 names for the Mondial-2022 comes as the International Board (Ifab), the body that guarantees football laws, has “definitively“validated in mid-June the principle of five possible replacements per team and per match, against three previously.
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This amendment to football’s “law 3” had been decided by Ifab in May 2020, in the context of the pandemic, and was to run until the end of 2021 for club competitions and until July 31, 2022 for international meetings. The measure had been extended until December 31, 2022 after a “global analysis of the current impact of Covid-19 on football“.
Ifab members have also decided to increase the maximum number of substitutes on the match sheet “from 12 to 15 at the discretion of the competition organizers”, thereby paving the way for lists of 26 players, and no longer 23 (11 starting players + 15 substitutes). “In total, a maximum of 26 people (up to 15 substitutes and 11 officials, including the team doctor) will be allowed to sit on the bench“During the World Cup, specifies FIFA on Thursday in its press release.
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