FIFA World Cup 2022 – Qatar Tournament Will Now Start a Day Earlier

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The Qatar opening match and ceremony at Al Bayt Stadium will commence a day earlier, followed by a sudden decision taken by FIFA. This means, the first match, Qatar vs Ecuador will take place on 20 November while Senegal will face the Netherlands at 7 pm on 21 November.

It was declared on August 11 (Thursday) that the 2022 Qatar World Cup will now kick off a day earlier than originally scheduled with the host nation facing Ecuador in the opening match on November 20, Sunday. The opening match was due to see Senegal competing with the Netherlands at 1 pm on November 21, however, now it will take place at 7 pm on the same date.

The change aligns with the standard tradition of opening matches involving hosts or top champions. Here’s what you should know about Groups, Schedule, and more.

FIFA World Cup 2022 Date Changed

FIFA announced on August 11, stating “the decision followed an assessment of competition and operational implications as well as a mutual agreement with key stakeholders and host nation, Qatar. The release period will remain unchanged and take place on November 14.”

At first, the tournament was planned to be held on November 21 but now the plan has changed and it will commence on November 20 so that the host nation will play the first game. 

Why this Decision has been made?

FIFA confirmed that World Cup 2022 is going to begin a day earlier. The president of FIFA and presidents of six FIFA confederations have made a unanimous decision that instead of starting the tournament on Monday, November 21 with Senegal and Holland, the World Cup will start a day before.

On Sunday, November 20, the first match will take place at 7 pm between Qatar and Ecuador and the opening ceremony will be held before that game. FIFA made this decision to honor the host nation for playing the first match, which has been a long-standing tradition since 2006.

Group A match between Senegal and Netherlands originally scheduled to be FIFA World Cup 2022 opener, has been pushed back by six hours on November 21. England’s Group B game with Iran and the United States opener against Wales, which are scheduled for November 21 – remain unaffected by the change.

FIFA World Cup Schedule – Day 1 and Day 2

As these proposed changes seem to be confirmed by FIFA, the schedule for the opening day of the 2022 World Cup will look like this:

November 20, Sunday

  • Qatar vs Ecuador (19:00 UK time)

November 21, Monday 

  • England vs Iran (13:00 UK time)
  • Senegal vs Netherlands (16:00 UK time)
  • United States vs Wales (19:00 UK time)

There are roughly three months left for FIFA World Cup 2022 – and the biggest sporting event has now a new start date i.e., November 20, Sunday. That way, Qatar vs Ecuador will play the first match accompanied by pomp and circumstances of a formal opening ceremony. The change effectively shifts up the commencement of the tournament by a day early and changes the kick-off time of the Group A match – Senegal vs Netherlands, which moves to a later slot on November 21, Monday

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About the Author: Mark Callaway