FIFA approves 26-man squads for 2022 World Cup

Gianni Infantino, presidente da Fifa em encontro do IFAB, 13062022Getty Images

National teams will be allowed to include a maximum of 26 players in their final squads for the World Cup this year.

FIFA has given the go ahead to increase the number of players in their rosters for the tournament in Qatar.

Previously, coaches were allowed to bring 23 players along to each tournament.

Why has FIFA changed the rules?

FIFA explained that the decision to change the size of the squads for the World Cup was made because of the unusual timing of the competition, which is set to begin in November 21.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also played a role in the decision to expand the teams.

A statement from FIFA read: "Given the need to retain additional flexibility due to the unique timing of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in the global calendar, as well as the broader context of the disruptive effects caused by the Covid-19 pandemic on squads before and during tournaments, the Bureau has decided the following:

"The maximum number of players on the release list has been increased from 35 to 55.

"The number of players to be included on the final list has been increased to at least 23 and a maximum of 26.

"The final matchday at club level for the 23 to 26 players nominated on the final list will be 13 November 2022.

"No more than 26 people (up to 15 substitutes and 11 team officials – one of these officials must be the team doctor) will be allowed to sit on the team bench."

When does the 2022 World Cup start?

The tournament in Qatar will begin on November 21 and run until December 18.

Senegal and Netherlands will get the tournament underway, with the first game of Group A to be played at 13:00 local time on November 21.

Group B teams England and Iran will then face each other at 16:00, followed by a match between Qatar and Ecuador in Group A.

The opening day of the competition will be rounded off in a game between United States and Wales at 22:00.

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