Qatar World Cup to begin one day earlier than planned

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

The World Cup in Qatar will kick off a day earlier than scheduled if FIFA's ruling bureau agree to a plan to hold the opening ceremony and the host nation's first match on Sunday Nov 20th, a source close to the discussions said, reports Reuters. 

The original plan was for the opening ceremony to be held before Qatar's game on Nov 21 against Ecuador -- which created the unusual situation of two matches being held before the ceremony.

Normally the ceremony is conducted before the kick-off of the first game of the tournament.

The Group A match between Senegal v Netherlands and the Group B match between England and Iran were scheduled to take place before the ceremony on Monday.

The plan has to be voted on by the heads of FIFA's six regional confederations and president Gianni Infantino but, despite the late notice, is expected to win support.

The switch to a Nov 20 opening ceremony and the game would allow the Senegal-Netherlands match, scheduled for 1300 local time on Nov 21, to kick off later in the day. The Group B matches on that day, which also includes the United States v Wales, would be unaffected.