top of page
  • Writer's pictureBethany Barker

Is 26 players too much to ask for?

FIFA reject the calls for implementing the same changes the men's world cup had to the women's 2023 tournament.

Sunday 18th December 2022


With the Qatar world cup coming to a close the next major international tournament is the 2023 women's world cup hosted in both Australia and New Zealand; however, unlike their male counterparts, the women's teams are being faced with a rejection from FIFA which once again could highlight the inequalities in the game.

In the last week, it has been confirmed that FIFA has rejected the call for a 26-player squad for the women's world cup despite pleas from respected managers such as Sarina Wiegman-England's Lionesses manager- and Marina Voss-Tecklenburg, the manager of Germany's Die Nationalelf, despite allowing the increased squad limit in this year's Euros. This was an idea first discussed in October at the World cup draw and had several supporters.

Whilst FIFA hasn't given any reasoning for the rejection it has been suggested that it could be due to the women's world cup not overlapping with the domestic season and being played over 31 days- a 10% increase compared to the men's tournament- and not all the participating nations are supportive of the potential change.

In the men's world cup the squad numbers were increased to 26 players for all participating nations due to "the need to retain additional flexibility due to the unique timing of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in the global calendar, as well as the broader context of the disruptive effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on squads before and during tournaments" as commented by FIFA. Whilst the 2023 world cup isn't coinciding with the WSL or Liga F the tournament will impact the NWSL.

Sarina Wiegman states including more players in the squad would be a "necessity to safeguard players' welfare" which can be highlighted in the increased injuries across the WSL and Liga F such as the ACL injuries of Beth Mead- Arsenal and England forward- as well as Alexia Putellas- Barcelona midfielder and this year's Ballon d'Or winner. Female players are subject to a large number of knee injuries and are six times more likely to suffer this injury compared to male footballers. This could be an injury that may impact the world cup and impact the top teams without the right prevention methods in place; however, as there has been limited scientific research completed an increased squad size may be the right start as there would be more options to play instead of overworking players who are subject to injury.

Will the heavy workload and long travel to the host countries be an impacting factor for the enlargement of the women's squads? Or will FIFA leave their limit to 23 and consequently meaning the women's world cup will not be in line with the men's?

8 views0 comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page