According to unanimous reports from the Brazilian media Gazeta Esportiva and ESPN.com.br, FIFA is considering an increase in the number of players. More precisely, 26 footballers per team should take part in the World Cup in Qatar.
This would mean that the number of places for each team would increase by three. At the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, for the first time, the coaches could nominate 23 players. Since then, they have had the right to have three goalkeepers at their disposal. Previously, the teams included only 22 footballers.
Already at EURO 2020, the Copa América and the Africa Cup, more than 23 athletes were nominated
This time, the reason for the possible increase in the number of players per team is the fact that this is the first World Cup since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Already last year, more than 23 footballers per team could compete at both EURO 2020 and Copa América. Moreover, the same applied to the Africa Cup in the last weeks. Strictly speaking, 26 athletes took part in EURO 2020 and 28 in the two other tournaments.
However, this change has not yet been approved. Because: FIFA awaits the assessments of its technical committee and an international congress in Doha immediately before the draw on 1 April. Additionally, the world governing body still needs to clarify some details before approving the call-up of 26 footballers per team.
By this we mean, for example, the number of players available for each match. At EURO 2020, Copa América and Africa Cup, coaches could only field up to 23 players. As a result, surplus footballers had to sit in the stands.
Brazil’s national team is already preparing for international matches with 26 footballers
Furthermore, outside of these tournaments, various national teams plan with an increase in the number of players by FIFA. For many team coaches, the task would also become easier due to the fact that three more places would remove some possible uncertainties.
Brazil’s team coach Tite already nominated 26 footballers for World Cup qualifiers in late January and early February against Ecuador and Paraguay. He is expected to do the same for the matches against Chile and Bolivia at the end of March.
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