— Published 12 August 2022

FIFA makes date change official

It’s official: the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will start one day earlier than originally planned. The executive committee of the FIFA Council approved on Thursday 11 August “the advancement of the opening match of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar by one day”. The decision was taken unanimously, the body said in a statement. The opening ceremony and match at the Al Beyt Stadium have been brought forward by one day. The first match of the host country, Qatar, against Ecuador for their entry into the tournament, will be played on 20 November at 19:00 local time (16:00 GMT). It was originally scheduled for the following day. The match between Senegal and the Netherlands, announced for 21 November at 13:00 local time, has been moved to 19:00 on the same day. The change, which comes as Qatar celebrates the symbolic date of 100 days to go before the opening match at the end of the week, will allow FIFA to respect the recent tradition of a first match involving the host country. As stated in its press release: “Ticket holders will be duly informed by e-mail of the new schedule of the matches concerned, for which their tickets remain valid. Furthermore, FIFA will endeavour to resolve any problems caused by this change on a case-by-case basis.” There is no change, however, to the availability period for players: it remains fixed at 14 November 2022.