NYON: National teams can take an expanded squad of 26 players into the UEFA Euro finals in June and July.

The European federation’s executive committee has approved what it described as “special rules . . . to guarantee the smooth running and continuity of the competition in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Previous recent tournaments have set the squad list at 23 players but this is being upgraded “to mitigate the risks of teams facing a shortage of available players for certain matches due to possible positive Covid-19 tests results and subsequent quarantine measures.”

However 23 players remains the maximum number permitted on the match sheet for each individual match including three goalkeepers.

A UEFA statement added:

Once the player list has been submitted on June 1 the current regulations allow unlimited replacements on the player list in case of serious injury or illness before the first match, provided that the replacements are medically certified.

For the sake of clarity, players who have tested positive for Covid-19 or who have been declared as “close contacts” of a positive Covid-19 tested person – and therefore put in isolation – by way of an authorities’ decision are considered cases of serious illness and can therefore be replaced before the first match with the approval of the UEFA administration.

The new regulations will now also allow goalkeepers to be replaced before each match during the tournament in case of physical incapacity even if one or two goalkeepers from the player list are still available.

To ensure the integrity of the competition, a player who has been replaced on the player list cannot be readmitted to the list.