FIFA turns down nations lobbying for 26-player squads at Women’s World Cup

FIFA have rejected an approach by some teams wanting to increase the size of squads to play at this year’s Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.

The world body has confirmed squads will be restricted to 23 players, unlike the men’s World Cup in Qatar where teams were allowed 26 players.

England manager Sarina Wiegman and German manager Marina Voss-Tecklenburg were understood to want the increase and had lobbied for support when they met other international coaches at the cup draw in Auckland.

UEFA had allowed 26-player squads for both the men’s and women’s European Championships, the extra players deemed necessary as a safeguard against the risk of COVID disruption.

Media reports suggest FIFA have stuck to the 23-player limit for the Women’s World Cup because the tournament will be played over 31 days, three days more than the men’s tournament in Qatar.

Another factor was that the men’s World Cup was played during the domestic season for many nations, while the women’s tournament will not see the same pressure on players.

Wiegman has told Britain’s Sky Sport News in November that she believed larger squad sizes were needed to safeguard players’ welfare during the World Cup.

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