World Cup kick-off moved forward a day to allow hosts Qatar to play first game

·1-min read
Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar (Getty Images)
Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar (Getty Images)

FIFA will move the start of the 2022 World Cup forward by a day to allow host nation Qatar to play first.

The tournament is now scheduled to begin at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday November 20 with Qatar's match against Ecuador kicking the action off, taking place at 7pm BST.

Permission has been sought from both Qatar and Ecuador, alongside CONMEBOL who are the governing body for South American football.

Initially, Qatar were going to play on the opening day but after two other matches; Senegal vs Netherlands and England vs Iran on a bumper day featuring four games.

Senegal's match with Netherlands will now move to 7pm in the evening which is seen as the most favourable television slot.

Watch: Here's a look inside four teams' World Cup hubs

FIFA World Cup 2022 | Qatar Stadiums

Education City Stadium (AFP via Getty Images)
Education City Stadium (AFP via Getty Images)
CGI of Al Rayyan Stadium (2022 Supreme Committee for Deliv)
CGI of Al Rayyan Stadium (2022 Supreme Committee for Deliv)
Lusail Stadium (AFP via Getty Images)
Lusail Stadium (AFP via Getty Images)
Al Bayt Stadium (PA)
Al Bayt Stadium (PA)
CGI of Ras Abu Aboud Stadium (2022 Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy via Getty Images)
CGI of Ras Abu Aboud Stadium (2022 Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy via Getty Images)
Al-Thumama Stadium (AFP via Getty Images)
Al-Thumama Stadium (AFP via Getty Images)
Khalifa International Stadium (AFP via Getty Images)
Khalifa International Stadium (AFP via Getty Images)
Al Janoub Stadium (AFP via Getty Images)
Al Janoub Stadium (AFP via Getty Images)

The adjustment has yet to be officially confirmed but it is thought to now be a formality with approval being sought from by the Bureau of the FIFA Council (comprised of FIFA president Gianni Infantino and the leaders of each of the six continental confederations).

The tournament will run from November 20 to a December 18 final, which is to be played at Lusail Iconic Stadium.

FIFA will return to the tradition of the past four tournaments that has seen the host nation kick off proceedings instead of the previous winners, who used to do so up to 2002.

The World Cup will take place over the winter months instead of the usual summer months due to the intense desert climate in the Middle East.