• Posted on: 10 May 2021

European football governing body, UEFA, has confirmed the squad increase from 23 to 26 ahead of the European Championships this summer.

The 2020 European Championships tagged Euro 2020 was initially scheduled to hold last summer before it was postponed as a result of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament will now hold this summer.

The squad expansion from 23 to 26 was recommended by the European football body's national teams committee and has been approved in time for the start of the tournament next month.

The squad expansion was proposed as a result of the impact of Covid-19. To this effect, each of the 24 teams will have 26 players each for the Euro 2020 tournament which will last for duration of one month. The powerplay website doesn't think this will have too much of a material impact on who the favourites will be, though the top sides like France and Spain (who have an embarrassment of riches) will be the main benefactors.

Despite the tournament being postponed from last summer to this summer, UEFA has confirmed that it will retain the name ‘UEFA Euro 2020'. The tournament will start on Friday, June 11, 2021 and end on Sunday, July 2021.

Portugal are the defending champions ahead of Euro 2020 after they won the last edition known as Euro 2016 in France. The Fernando Santos-led Portugal team won the tournament via a 1-0 win over hosts France in the final courtesy the extra time goal from ex-Swansea City striker Eder.

Portugal were drawn in the group of death after the group stage draw at the end of last year. The other teams in the group of death are world champions and Euro 2016 finalists France, Hungary and Germany.

Portugal will start the defence of their title against Hungary in Budapest before they face the Germans in Munich in their second group game. Their last group match is against France in Budapest. Hungary and Germany are two of the 11 host nations for the tournament.