FIFA approved 26 players per team for 2022 World Cup in Qatar

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FIFA has announced that World Cup teams will be allowed to name 26 players in their squad ahead of the 2022 Qatar World Cup in November.

FIFA approved 26 players per team for 2022 World Cup in Qatar
FIFA World Cup

The new development was announced on Thursday, June 23, 2022, and it will help to extend football’s relaxation of rules for coaches and players amid the lingering coronavirus pandemic. This is coming after the recent expansion of 23 players’ rosters for continental championships which made the FIFA Bureau which consists of the presidents of FIFA and football’s six confederations take the decision.

FIFA’s 26 players per team rule follow UEFA’s decision to do the same for the European Championship last year. Additionally, 28-player teams were authorized for the Africa Cup of Nations in January and the Copa America competition in South America last year.

The increase will help the 32 teams’ coaches in preparing for any unforeseen circumstances especially coronavirus outbreaks in the team. By permitting additional players, FIFA is already adhering to health standards at the Qatari camp.

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The new number of players will send 96 more players to the World Cup, which runs from November 21 to December 18. Compared to 32 days in Russia four years ago, the competition is now 28 days long.

For the first World Cup contested during the northern hemisphere winter, the majority of the extra players will likely come from European clubs whose domestic seasons must end by Nov. 13. Also, instead of the normal two weeks of preparation, teams will only be together for one week before the tournament starts.

FIFA will also set up a $209 million fund from proceeds from the World Cup to pay clubs a daily payment of approximately a few thousand dollars for releasing players for international duty.

Additionally, World Cup teams are now allowed to use five substitutions rather than three. This was a temporary regulation that was implemented in 2020 to reduce player workloads during busy game schedules amid the pandemic and has since been included in the rules of the game.

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During the annual convention of the 211 member federations, the FIFA Bureau also scheduled a presidential election for March 16 of the following year in Kigali, Rwanda.

FIFA approved 26 players per team for 2022 World Cup in Qatar
FIFA President Gianni Infantino during the UEFA Congress

Current FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, is running for re-election to another four-year term and it will bring his tenure in that position to 11 years if he eventually wins again. The deadline to enter the race is four months before the election, and no potential opponents have yet been identified.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament is scheduled to start a few days after the election in mid-November.

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