Euro 2020: UEFA considering increasing national team squad sizes for tournament

The rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament will run from June 11 to July 11 later this year; It is the first-ever pan-European edition of the competition and the final will be staged at Wembley; UEFA are contemplating the measure to increase squad sizes amid difficulties caused by the pandemic

Euro 2020 was rescheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic
Image: Euro 2020 was rescheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic

UEFA is considering increasing the size of national team squads for the European Championships this summer, as a result of pressures players are facing from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

No decision has yet been made by European football's governing body, but the numbers in squads could rise from 23 to 25.

The tournament had to be postponed last year and there has been a lot of debate about how the multi-city event will operate in the midst of a global pandemic.

gareth southgate
Image: An increase in squad size to 25 players may be favourable for England manager Gareth Southgate who faces selection dilemmas in many positions

Nonetheless, increased squad sizes could help Gareth Southgate when it comes to his final England selection, which is looming.

Players have had their schedules stretched and compounded by positive Covid-19 cases and isolation requirements, which have affected preparations for domestic and European games.

Teams will also be able to make up to five substitutions in games at Euro 2020 after approval was given by UEFA's executive committee. Those measures will also apply for the UEFA Nations League finals and relegation play-offs.

Ahead of the tournament, UEFA has also lifted the 30 per cent capacity limit on venues hosting European club and national competitions, with the jurisdiction now placed with relevant local authorities.

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The governing body's president Aleksander Ceferin has expressed that he wants to see supporters back in stadia for the pan-European tournament. A final decision on which cities will host games is expected to come later in April.

England fans in the stands wave flags at Wembley (PA) 0:45
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden says he is 'hopeful and optimistic' that 'substantially more' than 10,000 supporters will be allowed to attend matches in England during the latter stages of this summer's European Championships

The Euros are due to start on June 11, with the final scheduled to be played at Wembley.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is hopeful a large crowd will be able to attend the fixture at Wembley, but a capacity is still to be determined.

Meanwhile, Denmark's government has said the Euro 2020 matches hosted there will be played in front of at least 11,000 fans.

Aleksander Ceferin (AP)
Image: UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin wants to see supporters back in stadiums at this summer's European Championships

Away from the Euros, coronavirus restrictions across the continent have meant a number of fixtures in the Champions League and Europa League have been played at neutral venues this season.

Chelsea will play their two legs of their Champions League quarter-final with Porto at Sevilla's Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium on April 7 and 13.

Liverpool's first-leg quarter-final tie against Real Madrid will now be played in Spain after the Spanish government confirmed it would lift restrictions for those travelling from the UK at the end of March.

The game will be played at Real Madrid's Castilla's Alfredo Di Stefano ground on April 6, rather than the Santiago Bernabeu.

When is Euro 2020? Hosts, dates, teams, fixtures

Who has made it to Euro 2020 and how will the tournament work?

Coronavirus has put Euro 2020 back a year to 2021, but 24 sides will still play across 12 host cities in a festival of football.

The top two teams from each of the 10 groups qualified for Euro 2020 and the four remaining positions were settled in the play-offs, with Scotland beating Serbia in a penalty shootout to join England and Wales at the tournament.

Here is the confirmed schedule so far.

When and where is Euro 2020?

The 16th UEFA European Championship runs from June 11 to July 11, 2021, and to celebrate the tournament's 60th birthday, 12 cities across the continent have been selected as hosts. The 12 cities and stadiums are:

  • Amsterdam (Netherlands) - Johan Cruyff Arena
  • Baku (Azerbaijan) - Olympic Stadium
  • Bilbao (Spain) - San Mames
  • Bucharest (Romania) - Arena Nationala
  • Budapest (Hungary) - Puskas Arena
  • Copenhagen (Denmark) - Parken Stadium
  • Dublin (Republic of Ireland) - Aviva Stadium
  • Glasgow (Scotland) - Hampden Park
  • London (England) - Wembley Stadium
  • Munich (Germany) - Allianz Arena
  • Rome (Italy) - Stadio Olimpico
  • Saint Petersburg (Russia) - Krestovsky Stadium

Rome's Stadio Olimpico will host the opening match on June 11, while England's national stadium Wembley will stage both semi-finals and the final.

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