FIFA has rejected calls for 26-woman squads for the 2023 World Cup despite pleas from Sarina Wiegman among others. The suggestion was reviewed with other international coaches at the Women’s World Cup finals draw in October, and several joined the England manager and her German counterpart Marina Voss-Tecklenburg to support it. While football recovered from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ongoing men’s World Cup in Qatar has approved 26-man squads, as were both the men’s and women’s European Championship finals in 2020 and 2021.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup beginning after the domestic season, unlike in Qatar right now, has played a factor in FIFA’s thinking, albeit the organization hasn’t stated this openly. More than 10% longer than the competition in Qatar, the event will be played over 31 days. Not all of the nations scheduled to participate—including Australia and New Zealand—were thought to support the change.
Wiegman, who managed the Lionesses and guided England to a record-breaking 2022, now claims that adopting English culture has been a key factor in her success. Under their Dutch coach, England had a spectacular year, winning the European Championship on home soil during a 12-month unbeaten streak. Arnold Clark’s Cup victory in February and a spectacular victory over World Cup champions the United States at Wembley in September served as bookends to the summer’s major tournament victories.
Before accepting the position from the Football Association, the Hague-born Wiegman had only managed teams in the Netherlands and oversaw her own national squad. The 53-year-old highlighted what aided her adaption in England during a week in which the argument over whether foreigners should manage other nations has continued to rage in men’s football.
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