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Uefa confirm major rule change for Euro 2024 that England's rivals will hate

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EUROS squads have been increased to 26 PLAYERS ahead of this summer’s tournament.

Squads have historically been 23 players, but Euro 2020 and the last World Cup both saw that number expand to 26.

Gareth Southgate will be able to take three more players to the Euros

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Gareth Southgate will be able to take three more players to the EurosCredit: Getty
It could alleviate some of Southgate's selection headaches

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It could alleviate some of Southgate’s selection headachesCredit: Getty

And in keeping with the recent increase, countries will also be able to take 26 players to Germany in June.

The statement read: “The UEFA Executive Committee has today decided to increase the maximum squad size of the teams participating in the upcoming UEFA EURO 2024 from the original quota of 23 to 26 players.

“The increase does not represent an obligation for the participating national associations.

“In accordance with the competition regulations, teams must provide UEFA with a list containing a minimum of 23 players and a maximum of 26 by the deadline of 7 June.”

The larger squads were introduced as a response to the Covid pandemic, with national coaches fearful that an outbreak of the virus could leave them short of numbers for matches.

Uefa had decided to return the traditional smaller squads for this summer’s event.

But a number of national coaches had urged a rethink, citing the sheer number of injuries sustained by players this season.

Opposition to the move has come from Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann and France’s Didier Deschamps.

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Southgate has been planning to select a larger provisional squad in May before whittling down to 23 on the June 7 deadline.

But the change in regulations may see the England boss instead name a 26 with some standby players, giving everybody more certainty.

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The rule alteration could benefit players on the fringes of the Three Lions squad ahead of the tournament.

The likes of Ollie Watkins, Ivan Toney, Anthony Gordon, Marcus Rashford, Jarrod Bowen, Cole Palmer Eric Dier, Rico Lewis, Jarrad Branthwaite and Lewis Dunk will be hoping the change benefits their Euro hopes.

It is likely the larger squads will now become the norm for Uefa national competitions – although Fifa may revert to 23 for the 2026 World Cup.

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