FIFA have approved 26-man squads for the World Cup in Qatar later this year. The latest adjustment to the rules means that all 15 players not starting are allowed to be on the bench.
Over the years, football has witnessed several changes, whether for good or bad. Despite the changes made to make football more interesting, there seem to be more changes in the pipeline.
The advent of Covid-19 brought about a few changes to accommodate the health risk posed to the game by the pandemic.
The World Cup in November is one of the changes made to accommodate the weather conditions in Qatar during summer. FIFA is always trying to find new ways of adjusting the game to the current realities.
With goal-line technology and VAR now a permanent feature in football, FIFA have sanctioned a new change for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. The footballing body has increased the number of players allowed on the bench during the World Cup.
FIFA allow rest of the squad on the bench at the World Cup
Managers will now be able to count on all their players during a game at the World Cup. According to the latest adjustment to the rules, they can now select 15 players on the bench. The former law allows only 12 players on the sidelines, leaving out three players. With this latest adjustment, there would be no calculations over the players that miss out. It also allows the coach to be more flexible in making decisions as the game progresses.
The decision by FIFA came after the International Football Association Board approved increasing the maximum number of players on the bench from 12 to 15. Following this approval, FIFA have now adopted it for the World Cup.
According to Gareth Southgate, leaving three players out of the match-day squad at Euro 2020 affected team morale.
Poor timing of the World Cup
There is still debate over the World Cup in Qatar later this year. Many have seen no justification besides money as to why Qatar is hosting the World Cup. It has disrupted the world football calendar with some adjustments needed to find a balance.
According to FIFA, allowing 26-man squads was first taken to manage the effects of Covid-19 on the football calendar. Though FIFA might refuse to admit it, the poor timing of the Qatar World Cup is behind the latest adjustment to the rules. The World Cup takes place in the middle of the European season.
According to FIFA, November 13 will be the final day players selected for the World Cup by their countries are allowed to turn out for their clubs. It will also be the last day of the Premier League until it resumes again on Boxing Day.
On a side note, FIFA have confirmed that their presidential elections will be held during the FIFA Congress in Kigali, Rwanda, on March 16, 2023. The current FIFA president Gianni Infantino has already announced his intention to stand for re-election for a third term.