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FIFA rejects calls for 26-woman squads in 2023 World Cup, despite pleas from Sarina Wiegman and Martina Voss-Tecklenburg

World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand to go ahead with 23-woman squads; Men's World Cup in Qatar was permitted to retain the 26-man squad limit which was first introduced for last summer's European Championships and retained for the Women's Euros this summer

England women manager Sarina Wiegman ahead of Women's World Cup qualifying match at Stadion Wiener Neustadt, Austria
Image: England women manager Sarina Wiegman was among those to back the proposed changes

FIFA has rejected requests to increase maximum squad sizes to 26 at next summer's Women's World Cup despite Sarina Wiegman being among those to call for the move.

The England boss, and German counterpart Marina Voss-Tecklenburg, discussed the proposal with other international coaches at the Women's World Cup finals draw in October, with a number joining them to back the idea.

The ongoing men's World Cup in Qatar has allowed 26-man squads, as were permitted for both the men's and women's European Championship finals in 2020 and 2021, while football recovered from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

FIFA has not explicitly given its reasoning for the decision, but Sky Sports News has been told the Women's World Cup starting after the domestic season, unlike in Qatar at present, has finished has played a part in their thinking.

The tournament is also due to be played across 31 days, an increase of more than 10 per cent over the Qatar competition, and not all nations set to be involved in Australia and New Zealand were said to back the move.

In November, Wiegman told Sky Sports News larger squad sizes were a necessity to safeguard players' welfare during the tournament.

Wiegman: Embracing English culture key to Euros win

Wiegman led England to a record-breaking 2022 - and now says embracing the English culture has been a crucial component behind her success as Lionesses manager.

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England enjoyed a remarkable year under their Dutch coach, with European Championship success secured on home soil during a 12-month period where they remained unbeaten.

Bookending the major tournament triumph in the summer was Arnold Clark Cup glory in February and a memorable victory against World Cup holders the United States at Wembley in September.

The Hague-born Wiegman had only managed clubs in the Netherlands and supervised her own national team before she accepted the job from the Football Association.

In a week where debate over whether foreign managers should take charge of other countries has raged on in men's football, the 53-year-old explained what helped her adaptation in England.

"When I got there, I tried to know more about your culture," Wiegman said. "Although the countries are really close together, there are some differences in culture so I really tried to learn.

"I took some English classes in football. I said I will learn about your culture and try and adapt to your culture but the directness you have to know what is good, I will not go around it or change that.

"The other things I will try and adapt to the English culture. I think it went really well and we really enjoyed ourselves. We can still grow a lot. I think the FA and the players and staff enjoy it too and think we have a very good collaboration."

How friendly can you be with your opposition?

Arsenal's Jen Beattie and Everton's Izzy Christiansen discuss the difficult balance between friendship and rivalry in women's football with former Lioness Rachel Yankey on Three Players and a Podcast.

The setting for the recent WSL game between Manchester United and Aston Villa was Old Trafford and saw players from both teams socialising ahead of the game at the famous ground.

The new Sky Sports podcast - in which three women's football stars talk discuss three hot topics - started with the question 'is there rivalry in the women's game?'

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