FIFA to change Qatar World Cup start date

2022 Qatar World Cup

Mueez Ajao

– The World Cup is set to start one day earlier than planned on Sunday, 20 November with hosts Qatar taking on Ecuador.

– The Group A opener was due to be played on 21 November, as the third match of the competition.

– The opening match of the tournament was to be Senegal v the Netherlands at 10:00, earlier on the Monday.

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– However, the administrative arm of world governing body Fifa has submitted a proposal to move the Qatar game.

– It followed discussions with Qatar and their opponents Ecuador, after receiving a request from the South American Confederation Conmebol.

– It fits in with the tradition of either the hosts or the holders being involved in the opening game.

– The final decision will be made by the bureau of the Fifa council, which comprises the six confederation presidents, plus Fifa president Gianni Infantino.

– If it is approved as expected, it would not change the release dates for players, and the Netherlands v Senegal match would be switched to 16:00 on the Monday, given only three games would be played instead of the present four.

– England’s Group B match against Iran, which is being played at 13:00 on 21 November, would be unaffected.