Many national team coaches are still hopeful that the 2023 Women’s World Cup will feature 26-player rosters for each team. FIFA, effectively, says there’s no chance, confirming to The Equalizer that teams will be afforded 23-player rosters this summer.
The 2022 Men’s World Cup in Qatar featured 26-player rosters for each team, three more than usual for the event. FIFA’s thinking was that the Qatar World Cup took place in the winter (November and December) for the first time, which disrupted major European league seasons. FIFA says that 93 percent of men’s leagues were active right up until the official release date for the 2022 Men’s World Cup.
This summer’s Women’s World Cup will take place in a traditional summer window, when many of the world’s top leagues are paused (the National Women’s Soccer League being a major exception).
Still, many in the women’s game see the discrepancy as another instance of the women’s game receiving inferior treatment from FIFA, particularly regarding player safety. Women’s leagues and national teams similarly navigated qualifying campaigns and schedule changes during the (ongoing) COVID-19 pandemic, causing increased workloads that continue to be linked to an uptick in major injuries.
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