Following a unanimous decision by the Bureau of the FIFA Council, the tournament will now start on November 20 instead of November 21 when three matches were scheduled, as the opening event between Senegal and the Netherlands was previously scheduled.
A statement from FIFA: “The 2022 FIFA World Cup will kick off with an even bigger celebration for local and international fans, as the host nation Qatar will play Ecuador on Sunday, 20 November at 19:00 as part of a stand-alone event.” He said.
The decision will ensure “the continuity of a long-standing tradition” as the first match of the World Cup features either the host or the defending champion.
“It came after an assessment of competition and operational implications, as well as a comprehensive process of consultation and agreement with key stakeholders and the host country,” the statement continued.
As a result of this move, Senegal’s match against the Netherlands was postponed from the afternoon to the evening of November 21. However, the release period for players will remain unchanged, starting on November 14.
FIFA also noted that “ticket holders will be duly notified via email that the relevant matches have been rescheduled and their tickets will remain valid regardless of the new date/time.”
A statement issued by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy for the 2022 World Cup Qatar, Friday, confirmed the host country’s support for the decision.
“The impact of this decision on fans has been assessed by FIFA. We will work together to ensure a smooth tournament for fans affected by the change,” the statement read.
“With 100 days to go, Qatar is ready. We look forward to welcoming the world to a historic edition of the FIFA World Cup.”
The tournament will now take place from November 20 to December 18.
“Friendly food junkie. Lifelong introvert. Student. Avid coffee scholar. Unapologetic travel specialist. Zombie buff.”