World Cup 2022: FIFA confirms tournament in Qatar to start a day earlier than originally planned on November 20

The World Cup will now start on November 20

The Qatar 2022 World Cup will now kick off a day earlier than originally planned, with the host nation facing Ecuador in the opening match on Sunday 20 November.

The opening match of the tournament was due to see Senegal take on the Netherlands at 13:00 (10:00 GMT) on Monday 21 November, but that match will now take place at 19:00 (16:00 GMT) of the same date.

The World Cup opening ceremony has also been brought forward a day as a standalone event before Qatar take on Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium, with a 19:00 (16:00 GMT).

The change is in keeping with the long-standing tradition of opening games featuring hosts or defending champions.

A FIFA statement released on Thursday included: “The decision followed an assessment of the competition and operational implications, as well as a thorough consultation process and agreement with key stakeholders and the host country.

“The release period, as previously decided and under the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, will remain unchanged, from 14 November 2022.

“Ticket holders will be duly notified by email that the relevant matches have been rescheduled and their tickets will remain valid regardless of the new date/time.

“Furthermore, FIFA will seek to address any issues arising from this change on a case-by-case basis.”

Why has this decision been made only now?

Sky Sports News Chief Reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

“The World Cup will start a day earlier, FIFA has just confirmed that. We told you yesterday (Wednesday) that they were considering moving the start date of the World Cup. The FIFA office has met, this is effectively the fifa cabinet.the seven most powerful people in world football.

“The president of FIFA and also the presidents of the six FIFA confederations, and have unanimously decided that instead of the World Cup starting on Monday, November 21 with the match between Senegal and the Netherlands, the tournament will start on before.

“On Sunday November 20, the first match will be at 7pm between the hosts Qatar and Ecuador and we will also be holding the opening ceremony before this match.

“We thought it was a bit of a strange decision that the World Cup would start with a match between Senegal and Holland, and we wouldn’t have the opening ceremony until Qatar played later that day.

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Former England captain David Beckham says holding the World Cup in the middle of the European football calendar could work in England’s favor

“FIFA has decided that logistically they can make the World Cup start a day earlier.

“Of course it’s very controversial for the World Cup to be held in the middle of the season, as far as European football is concerned, but FIFA says that a normal World Cup takes 32 days, but this World Cup was originally supposed to take 28 days. .

“Now it will take 29 days, so it will still be a shorter World Cup. The other point to note is that it was a unanimous decision. Ecuador was playing the first game but the South American federation was in favor of it.

“The Holland match will not be the first match now, but UEFA is also in favor of this change. We knew it would happen yesterday, but people still won’t be happy with the World Cup being held in winter.”


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