Lausanne (AFP)

UEFA plans to authorize more than 23 players per selection during the next Euro (June 11-July 11), as demanded by several coaches in the face of the risks associated with Covid-19, the European football body announced on Thursday. 'AFP.

"UEFA is considering the matter. No decision has been taken yet," said a spokesperson, responding to a question about calls from the coaches of Italy, Belgium and France to expand the number of teams.

Roberto Martinez, at the head of the Belgian selection, campaigned on Wednesday so that the selections could count "26 or even 27 players" because of the Covid-19, in a statement to the newspaper La Dernier Heure.

"There are discussions, especially with England and Italy. Everyone reacted in the same way. Enlarging the group, with for example one more player per row, would be a correct decision," added the Spanish coach with the Belga news agency on Wednesday.

Italian coach Roberto Mancini defended the same idea after Nazionale's victory in Lithuania (2-0) in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, completing an exceptionally busy international break.

"I do not know if UEFA will listen to us. I think it could be a relevant reflection, it would be a problem to lose players during the Euro. Possible replacements would then be on vacation," said the Italian technician.

Didier Deschamps, who has noted for several days the state of fatigue of the players, faced with a schedule turned upside down by the Covid-19 pandemic and after a truncated summer preparation, recalled that they would have to "chain, chain, chain" until 'to the Euro.

"I also think that if UEFA looked into the subject of being able to expand the list, by two or three players, that would be a good thing, provided they can all be on the scoresheet. 'has not had a positive case but I think that with fatigue and all that (the Covid-19), it would be a good thing, "added the coach of the Blues.

The European body is holding its next executive committee on April 19, on the eve of its congress.

On the menu, are already the reform of European club competitions beyond 2024, Champions League in the lead, as well as the city-by-city organization of the Euro.

Already postponed for a year due to the pandemic, the continental tournament is to be held in 12 host cities in 12 different countries, a challenge made even more complex by UEFA's desire for all stadiums to welcome the public.

© 2021 AFP