Teams at Euro 2020 could get expanded squads to avoid Covid-19 chaos, with UEFA set to discuss increase to 23 limit or standby list in case of positive cases
- Teams at major tournaments are usually allowed to select a team of 23 players
- But the UEFA executive committee will discuss whether to increase this number
- It comes amid fears that positive Covid-19 tests will throw Euro 2020 into chaos
- Teams could be forced to forfeit matches with no time to rearrange them
- This can take the form of an extensive squad or a standby list of additional players
Teams at Euro 2020 this summer could have more than 23 players in their squad as they fear Covid-19 will destroy the tournament.
UEFA’s executive committee will reportedly consider relaxing the squads’ limits when it comes to drafting tournament rules for the competition that was postponed for 12 months last year amid the deadly pandemic.
The Daily Telegraph report this could mean either an increase in squad size for each of the 24 participants or an allowance of standby players to be called up if one or more of the squad returns positive Covid tests.
The 24 countries at Euro 2020 could get expanded squads to avoid Covid-19 chaos
England manager Gareth Southgate and his co-bosses at the European Championship may be allowed to select more than 23 players from their squad
A comprehensive roster would solve some selection dilemmas for England manager Gareth Southgate and his colleagues across Europe, with this week’s World Cup qualifiers the last chance to judge players for the final roster.
UEFA sees the team’s concession as a way to prevent countries from forfeiting matches at the tournament after a Covid outbreak.
It is still not confirmed that Euro 2020 will take place across the continent as originally planned with 12 different locations in 12 different countries.
UEFA insists that the tournament will take place as originally planned.
The semi-finals and the final of the tournament will take place at Wembley Stadium in the summer
With just one month to fit into each game from June 11, there would be no room to rearrange a game that was postponed for Covid reasons, forcing a team to forfeit.
If a side has suffered a Covid outbreak prior to their opening match, they may be able to leave the tournament without even entering the field due to isolation requirements.
UEFA would also face a significant compensation bill to broadcasters, cardholders and sponsors if matches are called off.
It remains to be seen whether fans will be admitted to Wembley and the other venues
It’s also possible that England and other squads will be banned from mingling with friends and family in their camp during the tournament for fear of spreading the virus.
While the UK’s vaccination program is considerably more advanced than most of Europe, players, usually in their teens and twenties, expect their first shot in May at the earliest.