FIFA is considering a plan to stage the opening ceremony and the host nation’s first game on Sunday, November 20. A little over three months before the championship begins. This would mark an earlier start to the fifa World Cup in Qatar than originally planned.
Sources told news organizations Reuters, AFP, and The Associated Press that Qatar will now play Ecuador 24 hours earlier. FIFA will confirm shortly by the ruling bureau. Which consists of president Gianni Infantino and the heads of the six continental football organizations.
The opening ceremony will take place prior to Qatar’s match versus Ecuador on November 21. This unusual scheduling of two games preceded the event.
The ceremony often takes place prior to the opening kickoff of the tournament.
Prior to the ceremony on Monday, matches between Iran and England and Senegal and the Netherlands were due to take place in Groups A and B, respectively.
Officials from Qatar and the South American football governing body CONMEBOL have favored the idea of creating a 29-day tournament rather than the long-planned 28 days. The Qatari and Ecuadorian football federations are also discussing the matter.
One World Cup insider told AFP that “there were talks and an understanding between the two separate teams. And there was a request from CONMEBOL.” We wanted to adhere to the custom of having either the host nation or the current champions play in the first game.
There is an alteration in the final of the mega event. Although neither FIFA nor the Qatari organizing committee commented on the alteration.
By moving the opening ceremony and first game to Nov. 20. The Senegal-Netherlands match, which was originally slated to begin at 1300 local time on Nov. 21, might start later that day. According to the source, “it is a better spot for both teams in terms of broadcast and other areas.”
That day’s Group “B” games, which feature the United States vs. Wales encounter will not have any impact.
According to a second source familiar with the idea, the switch may be official as soon as Thursday.
It is unclear who will pay these fees, whether FIFA, Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, or another entity. The source told Reuters. “There will be a discussion about the financial impact to fans. The organizers will pay any additional costs,” the source said.
The insider continued, “Organizers will guarantee that any additional expenditures for fans to adjust travel or lodging arrangements won’t be their responsibility. And there will be evaluation on a case-by-case basis.
Companies with significant World Cup-related contracts expressed confidence in the ability to handle the unusual schedule shift without incident.
Jaime Byrom, head of Match Hospitality, has a contract with FIFA to organize hospitality packages for World Cup events. He has reserved 450,000 seats for the competition, and stated, “It is something we will deal with.”
“We have to concentrate on those clients who are most impacted, and in this situation, I assume we will be looking at our Ecuadorian clients who are traveling from outside and making sure that they are on time for the match.”
FIFA agreed on a shorter 28-day schedule needing four games per day during the group stage after discussions with important European leagues that will play club games through November 13 several years ago. It ruled out a Sunday start for the World Cup.
However, a match between Qatar and Ecuador would feature a few players who play for European clubs and provide the host country a special day to kick off their competition.
The 60,000-capacity Al Bayt stadium, one of seven new locations created especially for the World Cup will host the opening game.
The stadium’s design was according to traditional Arab tents. The affluent Gulf state is organizing a grand inauguration celebration there.
The 100-day countdown that was supposed to begin on Saturday with special events taking place across the tiny nation of 2.8 million people will also change as a result of moving the opening matchup.
The 2022 World Cup will be the first to start outside of the regular summer months in the tournament’s 92-year existence. All 21 of the prior iterations were played between late May and late July.
The majority of European football were upset about closing down their local leagues for many prime weeks. FIFA finalized a decision in 2015 to avoid the blistering heat of Qatar’s summer and move to November and December.
The competition’s scheduled start is from November 21 to December 18 so that European clubs can compete on the weekend of November 12–13 before releasing their players to the 32 World Cup teams.
The final will be on Qatar’s National Day a Sunday. It will give players a full week to return to their clubs before the Premier League’s customary Boxing Day games on December 26.