How Many Players on World Cup Squads

How Many Players

The upcoming 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be unlike any other major men’s FIFA tournament. How Many Players on World Cup Squads Held in November and December due to the summer heat in the small Middle Eastern nation, the 2022 tournament will take place in the heart of the European league season, leading to challenges that clubs and national teams have not encountered in the past. To help with the unusual timing of the tournament, How Many Players on World Cup Squads FIFA will be making a number of accommodations. One of those was a slight increase in roster size for the 2022 edition, as FIFA will allow more players to be available to national team coaches.

How Many Players on World Cup Squads?

Squad lists: 26 players (from 23 players)
Eligible lists: 55 players (from 35 players in 2018)
Bench players: 15 players (from 12 players)
Available substitutes: 5 per match (from 3)
The Sporting News brings you all the relevant information regarding World Cup roster rules and the changes FIFA has made to this year’s unique tournament.

FIFA increases World Cup squad size

On June 23, FIFA announced the official increase in roster size for the 2022 World Cup, moving the allowable player cap from 23 players to 26 players for the upcoming tournament. The football governing body also approved an increase to 55 players for the full “release list” of eligible players. The release list allows teams to make late changes to the roster, as well as to swap injured players out for the knockout stage.

How Many Players on World Cup Squads Finally, the amount of personnel on the bench is increasing as well, with a total of 15 available substitutes allowed on the bench, increased from the usual 12. FIFA stated that a total of 26 people will be allowed on a team’s bench, with the 15 players joined by a maximum of 11 team staff. FIFA stated that the changes were made “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.

This suggests that should the World Cup return to the normal June and July schedule for 2026 and beyond, the roster size would revert to the traditional 23-man squad list for future tournaments.

Why squad sizes were increased for World Cup 2022
FIFA increased the number of players allowed on a World Cup roster from 23 players to 26 players due to the strain on players through the coming 2022/23 season. Due to the 2022 World Cup happening in November and December, domestic leagues are forced to fit the same number of fixtures into a season calendar that is four weeks shorter, a tall task that will see players stretched to their limits.

Fixture congestion will be a significant problem through the coming season, especially for clubs that find themselves deep into multiple domestic and continental competitions. The workload increases the chance for injury during the coming club season, and both national teams and clubs will need greater flexibility to navigate the challenges. FIFA had already approved an increase from three substitutions to five for the coming World Cup, a move which follows its adoption by a number of top European leagues.

Additionally, the World Cup squad increase follows a similar change previously made for the 2021 European Championships, where 26 players were allowed on the roster, but only 23 were permitted to be named for each individual match, requiring three gameday scratches. But in the case of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, all 15 reserves will be part of the matchday squad.

When is the 2022 FIFA World Cup?
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will begin on Nov. 21, with the final set to be played on Dec. 18. According to the official FIFA release announcing the roster changes, the final day for players to play a club fixture will be Sunday, Nov. 13. Clubs must then release players for international duty by Monday, Nov. 14, returning to their clubs only after their national team has either been eliminated or won the tournament.

Each league will navigate this time off differently, including how to rearrange the fixtures to accommodate the one-month layoff. The Premier League will start a week earlier than usual in August, and will resume on Dec. 26 following the end of the World Cup. La Liga is not starting a week early, but it will also return in late December and continue from that point forward. The Bundesliga in Germany will start a week early, like the Premier League, but will not resume play until late January, giving its players the usual winter break.

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