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Published: 09:41, June 24, 2022 | Updated: 18:44, June 24, 2022
FIFA increases squad limit to 26 for World Cup
By Reuters
Published:09:41, June 24, 2022 Updated:18:44, June 24, 2022 By Reuters

View of the National stadium at sunset ahead of a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, between Costa Rica and United States, in San Jose, Costa Rica, March 29, 2022. (MOISES CASTILLO / AP)

Teams will be able to select up to 26 players for this year's World Cup after global soccer's governing body FIFA increased the maximum squad limit by three on Thursday.

FIFA said the change was due to the unusual timing of the tournament as well as the impact of COVID-19 on squads. The showpiece event in Qatar will run from Nov 21-Dec 18.

"The number of players to be included on the final list has been increased to at least 23 and a maximum of 26," it said in a statement.

"No more than 26 people (up to 15 substitutes and 11 team officials) will be allowed to sit on the team bench."

People gather around the official countdown clock showing remaining time until the kickoff of the World Cup 2022, in Doha, Qatar, Nov 25, 2021. (DARKO BANDIC / FILE / AP)

UEFA took a similar decision last year, allowing sides to pick three extra players for the European Championship due to the pandemic.

READ MORE: World Cup products hit China shops

The International Football Association Board this month gave the green light to the use of five substitutions in matches, which was initially introduced as a tweak to the rules because of COVID-19. 

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