World football governing body, FIFA has announced that it’ll allow teams to select 26 players for the 2022 World Cup to take place in Qatar later this year.
The decision to change the size of the squads from 23 to 26 is due to the unusual timing of the competition which begins on November 21 and also the Covid-19 pandemic.
Countries can also name up to 55 players on the provisional list of players which is to be submitted to FIFA a month before the tournament.
The final squad of between 23 and 26 players has to be submitted to FIFA by November 13, which is a week away from the kickoff of the competition.
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,” the statement ended.
The tournament in Qatar will begin on November 21 and run until December 18. Senegal and Netherlands who are pitted in Group A will get the tournament underway.