EURO 2024 squad to increase from 23 to 26 players

England manager Gareth Southgate at press conference

ENGLAND and Scotland are to be given a chance to select 26 players for this summer’s European Championships a vote with UEFA on Monday gave the green light for expanded squads.

This suggestion was made in Dusseldorf a fortnight ago after a talk with all nations’ coaches; however, after a meeting on Monday with the national competitions committee, delegates voted in favour of changing the rules for Euro 2024 from a 23-player limit to 26.

In 2021, enlarged squads were allowed for England at the Euros to help teams cope with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision to allow newly expanded squads seems to mean this will become the new norm for all UEFA national competitions in the future, after receiving the backing of national team coaches at a pre-tournament workshop earlier this month.

UEFA’s ruling executive committee could rubberstamp the proposal this week.

UEFA released a statement: “The positive discussions highlighted different points of view among coaches, with some expressing a desire to increase the squad size, with more choice available, the threat of injuries and the intense physical demands placed upon players.

“Others stated their preference to cap the squad size at 23, pointing out the difficulty in training with additional players, group management and the increased financial burdens placed upon national associations.

“UEFA has taken note of the various opinions and points of view shared, with a final decision to be made in the coming weeks.”

England and Scotland are badly affected by injuries, so this squad enlargement will be a much-welcome boost for Gareth Southgate and Steve Clarke.

England’s injury crises worsened in the last few weeks, with several players sidelined, including Reece James, Marc Guehi, Levi Colwill, Luke Shaw, and Kieran Trippier, along with fitness issues from John Stones, Bukayo Saka, and Harry Maguire.

Scotland is set to miss Everton ace Nathan Patterson, Bologna captain Lewis Furguson and Southampton star Stuart Armstrong after picking up a quad muscle injury against Saints’ 2-1 defeat away to Cardiff.

The Euros kick-off in less than eight weeks – England’s campaign gets underway on June 16 when they face Serbia, while Scotland takes on host Germany in the tournament’s first game on June 14.