FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar to start a day earlier than scheduled

The FIFA World Cup will now start on November 20 with host Qatar playing the first match of the tournament against Ecuador.

Ecuador will now face Qatar in the opener on November 20, instead of Netherlands facing Senegal as per the current schedule. (Representative Image)

Ecuador will now face Qatar in the opener on November 20, instead of Netherlands facing Senegal as per the current schedule. (Representative Image) | Photo Credit: Getty Images

The FIFA World Cup will now start on November 20 with host Qatar playing the first match of the tournament against Ecuador.

The FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which was originally scheduled to commence from November 21, will start a day earlier, multiple reports said on Wednesday.

The change in schedule was done to allow the host nation to play the first game of the tournament, as has been the custom over the past editions of the tournament.

As per the new schedule, Ecuador will face off Qatar in the opener on November 20. The inaugural match was originally planned between the Netherlands and Senegal.

“The FIFA World Cup 2022 will kick off with an even greater celebration for local and international fans as host country Qatar will now play Ecuador on Sunday 20 November at 19:00 as part of a stand-alone event,” the official statement on the World Cup website read.

“The opening match and ceremony of this year’s tournament at Al Bayt Stadium have been brought forward one day following a unanimous decision taken by the Bureau of the FIFA Council today. Consequently, the encounter between Senegal and the Netherlands has been rescheduled from 13:00 to 19:00 on Monday 21 November.”

Since the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the host nation has always been playing the opening match, with Germany playing Costa Rica (2006), South Africa facing Mexico (2010), Brazil playing Croatia (2014) and Russia playing Saudi Arabia (2018).

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