Home Business Insights & Advice UEFA announces 26-man squads for Euro 2024

UEFA announces 26-man squads for Euro 2024

by Sarah Dunsby
3rd Jun 24 2:35 pm

In case it has escaped your attention, this summer is set to be lit up by an overload of sporting action. In addition to the annual racing festivals, tennis tournaments, and golf Majors, we have a pair of quadrennial competitions thrown into the mix: the Paris Olympic Games is the one for the purists and likely to hit the World News headlines, but for football fans, it’s all eyes on Germany.

Kicking off on 14th June, supporters and players alike are counting down the days ahead of what promises to be a thrilling Euro 2024 tournament – fans up and down the country are booking their spots on the sofa for a month of action, punters are rushing to take advantage of the best betting sign up offers, whilst the players are keeping everything crossed that they make the final squad. Thanks to recent changes from UEFA, three more players will be digging out their passports than has previously been the case.

23 becomes 26

UEFA has officially increased the maximum squad size for the upcoming European Championship in Germany from 23 to 26 players. This decision was confirmed by the European governing body’s executive committee on Friday 3rd of May, following a recommendation from the national competitions committee in April.

Background and precedents

This change follows a similar adjustment made for Euro 2020, which allowed for expanded squads due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although UEFA had initially intended to revert to 23-man squads for Euro 2024, the decision to maintain the larger squads has been influenced by the positive reception from teams and the logistical challenges posed by the ongoing football calendar.

The expanded squad sizes were also utilized during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which was held in the middle of the domestic season, necessitating more flexibility for national teams. This move is expected to be welcomed by many international managers who have advocated for larger squads due to the high number of injuries players have faced in recent seasons. Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman was clear in his assessment when describing the idea of reducing squad sizes as “absurd.”

England’s perspective

England manager Gareth Southgate, who had previously supported the traditional 23-man squads, has shifted his stance in light of the injury challenges across the Premier League this season. The Premier League’s demanding schedule appears to have exacerbated player fatigue and injuries, prompting Southgate and others to reconsider the benefits of having a few extra players available for selection.

Requirements and flexibility

Participating teams are not required to name a 26-man squad but must submit a list of at least 23 players to UEFA by the deadline of 7 June. This flexibility allows national team coaches to tailor their squad sizes as they see fit. While teams may bring up to 26 players to the tournament, only 23 may be included in each match-day squad.

Strategic advantages

A 26-man squad provides several strategic advantages: Firstly, it allows managers to manage player workloads; secondly, it offers greater tactical flexibility, enabling coaches to select players who can offer different styles of play or cover multiple positions; lastly, it provides a safety net in case of unforeseen circumstances, such as injuries or illnesses that could deplete a squad.

Adapting to modern challenges

The decision to increase squad sizes comes as the footballing world adapts to the challenges of the modern game – particularly the ever-expanding fixture list. The move aims to ensure teams are better equipped to handle these challenges and maintain a high level of competition throughout the tournament, which can only be good news for players, fans, and the tournament as a whole.


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