Official: FIFA expands 2022 World Cup final rosters to 26 players

Final rosters for the Qatar 2022 World Cup can include up to 26 players, FIFA announced Thursday, confirming a shift many had anticipated.

Typically, nations are allowed a final squad of 23 players for the tournament. That has been expanded to a minimum of 23 and a maximum of 26 players this year due to the World Cup’s unprecedented timing and potential disruptions from COVID-19.

For 2022, the quadrennial event will occur in November and December as opposed to the usual summertime months because of Qatar’s high temperatures. Positive COVID-19 tests, before and during the tournament, could impact availability as well.

The final permissible matchday at the club level for players who are named to a World Cup roster is Nov. 13. MLS Cup 2022 will be played on Nov. 5, giving selected MLS players at least two weeks to prepare for the tournament, which begins on Nov. 21.

The US men's national team was drawn into Group B alongside England, Iran and Wales. The Canadian men's national team was drawn into Group F alongside Belgium, Croatia and Morocco.