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Germany coach: FIFA rejected roster expansion for 2023 World Cup

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg has coached Germany since 2019. (Robbie Jay Barratt/Getty Images)

FIFA rejected a request to expand rosters from 23 to 26 players for the 2023 World Cup, Germany women’s national team coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg told Sport Bild.

Several countries, including Germany, requested the increase for the tournament, set to kick off in Australia and New Zealand in July.

The change would have brought the women’s tournament in line with the 2022 men’s World Cup. FIFA increased the maximum roster size for the men’s tournament in Qatar from 23 to 26, citing the “unique timing” of the event, which falls in the middle of the European club season, as well as the “disruptive effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

While the 2023 World Cup, which will run from July 20 through Aug. 20, will not conflict with the European season, it will overlap with the NWSL season in the United States.

Women’s national teams argued for increased rosters due to the heavy workload players face from club and national team duties, plus the long travel required to reach the host countries and the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Voss-Tecklenburg told Sport Bild.

But FIFA rejected the roster expansion, as the international governing body for soccer said it would favor stronger countries, the German sports magazine reported.