FIFA has moved the start of the Qatar World Cup forward by a day, meaning the tournament will now begin on Sunday 20 November rather than the initially scheduled date of Monday 21 November.
The first game of the finals will now be the host nation Qatar’s clash with Ecuador on Sunday rather than Senegal’s match against the Netherlands.
And Senegal vs. Netherlands will now be played at 7 p.m. on Monday -the slot left vacant by Qatar’s match being moved, with the other two games on that day England vs. Iran and United States vs. Wales — unaffected.
It means the World Cup will be extended to 29 days, with the final taking place on Sunday, 18 December.
The announcement was made on Thursday following what FIFA said was a unanimous decision by a committee comprising FIFA president Gianni Infantino and presidents of the six continental soccer bodies
FIFA said in a statement:
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 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.
The decision followed an assessment of the competition and operational implications, as well as a thorough consultation process and an agreement with key stakeholders and the host country.
The release period, as previously decided and as governed by the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, will remain unchanged, beginning on 14 November 2022.
Ticket holders will be duly notified by email that the relevant matches have been rescheduled and their tickets will remain valid irrespective of the new date/time.