Europe’s soccer governing body UEFA is set to increase the size of the national team squads at this year’s European Championship from 23 to 26 players, British media reported on Tuesday.

The rule is being changed to lighten the burden on players after the start of the 2020-21 season was delayed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic while the campaign was also compressed to finish by May, in time for the June 11-July 11 Euros.

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The decision was taken by UEFA’s national teams committee on Monday and is expected to be ratified by its executive committee later this week, the BBC said.

Italy head coach Roberto Mancini said last month he would support the introduction of larger squads due to the risk of players contracting COVID-19 and the difficulty in replacing them during the Euro2020 tournament.

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