FIFA approves 26-man squads for the 2022 World Cup as teams will have three additional players in Qatar


FIFA has announced that the World Cup squads will be expanded to 26 players, up from the usual 23. The decision came from the FIFA Council Bureau, made up of FIFA President Gianni Infantino and the six presidents of the confederations. This was an expected move after the International Football Association Board allowed five substitutes to be a permanent addition to the laws of the game earlier this month.

In the FIFA statement, some key points are clarified, including that the launch teams will be increased from 35 to 55. These are the preliminary team lists that are reduced to form the final team of the day. If someone from the matchday squad is injured, he can only be replaced by someone from that preliminary list. The deadline to set the final 26 players for the World Cup will be November 13.

Ultimately, only 26 people will be allowed on the team bench: 15 substitutes and 11 team officials. While the World Cup will be played in November in air-conditioned stadiums in Qatar, changes to the squad and increased substitutions will help players stay fresh as they did not get a proper winter break after a summer. compressed.

How does this affect the United States?

Fortunately for US men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter, he had assumed the squads would be set at 26 for months and has proceeded as such. He even admitted that if they were down to 23, he would have to make some tough decisions. In our most recent list predictionI mentioned the versatility that the United States has available to them, and by using five substitutes, Berhalter can change the entire game plan in one substitution window. Speaking of replacement windows…

How do the five submarines work?

Coaches are expected to make their substitutions during three windows during the game. This is to ensure that they do not have more opportunities to add more stoppage time to matches. For example, if a coach makes two substitutions at the 60th minute and then one at the 65th minute, the next two substitutions must be made at the same time. If they choose to do one more sub later, that uses up all available windows and the fifth sub would essentially be burned. Changes made during halftime do not count towards these windows.

consistency with leagues

With the Premier League and other European leagues adopting bigger squads and more substitutes, it was only a matter of time until FIFA made this decision. Coaches and players have gotten used to bigger teams without much of a problem and it has the advantage of adding more opportunities for young players to get minutes when they are likely to win a game.

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