Teams at Euro 2020 could be allowed expanded squads to prevent Covid-19 chaos with UEFA set to discuss increase on limit of 23 or standby list in case of positive cases
- Teams at major tournament are typically allowed to select a squad of 23 players
- But UEFA’s 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 could take the form of an expanded squad or a standby list of extra players
Teams at this summer’s Euro 2020 could be allowed more than 23 players in their squad amid fears Covid-19 will wreck the tournament.
UEFA’s executive committee will reportedly consider relaxing squad limits when it comes to drafting tournament regulations for the competition that was postponed 12 months last year amid the deadly pandemic.
The Daily Telegraph report this could either mean an increase in squad size for each of the 24 participants or an allowance of standby players to be drafted in if one or more of the squad return positive Covid tests.
The 24 nations at Euro 2020 could be allowed expanded squads to prevent Covid-19 chaos
England manager Gareth Southgate and his fellow bosses at the Euros may be permitted to select more than 23 players in their squads
An expanded squad would solve a number of selection dilemmas for England manager Gareth Southgate and his colleagues across Europe, with this week’s World Cup qualifiers the last opportunity to assess players before the final selection.
UEFA see the squad concession as one way to prevent countries having to forfeit matches at the tournament following a Covid outbreak.
It has still not been confirmed that Euro 2020 will take place across the continent as originally planned with 12 different venues in 12 different countries.
UEFA insists the tournament will take place as originally planned.
Wembley Stadium is set to host the semi-finals and the final of the tournament in the summer
With just one month to fit in every match from June 11 onwards, there wouldn’t be space to rearrange any game postponed for Covid reasons, forcing a team to forfeit.
If a squad suffered a Covid outbreak ahead of their opening group match, it is feasible they could exit the tournament without even taking the field because of isolation requirements.
UEFA would also be faced with a substantial compensation bill to broadcasters, ticket holders and sponsors if games were called off.
It remains to be seen whether fans will be permitted into Wembley and the other venues
It is also possible that England and other squads could be banned from mixing with friends and family in their camp during the tournament amid fears of spreading the virus.
Although the UK’s vaccination programme is considerably better advanced than most of Europe, the players, mostly in their teens and twenties, wouldn’t expect to receive their first jab until May at the earliest.