Picture Credit: UEFA

The UEFA Executive Committee have taken a huge step to ensure the smooth functioning of the upcoming European Championships later this summer amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It was confirmed on Tuesday that all the participating nations will be allowed to travel with as many as 26 players in their squads instead of 23 players, which was decided earlier. The move has been taken in light of the global pandemic to ensure that the teams have enough backup players available with them in case anyone tests positive for the virus or if there are any unforeseen quarantine complications.

Other details about the replacement of players

The list of 26 players will have to be submitted by each team on June 1, 2021. But despite the presence of additional players, matchday squads will be limited to 23 players only. UEFA also confirmed that the current regulations allow the teams to make unlimited replacements post the deadline in case of any serious injury or illness to their players.

The governing body also revealed the course of action in case of any COVID-19 related cases. In an official statement, UEFA stated, "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."

As per the new regulations, teams will be allowed to replace goalkeepers before every match during the European Championship in case of 'physical incapacity'. However, once the player has been omitted from the players' list and replaced by another player, the former won't be allowed to play in the tournament again. The tournament is currently scheduled to take place between 11 June - 11 July 2021.