World Cup set to start a day earlier than scheduled to allow Qatar to play first

The Qatar World Cup is set to start a day earlier than scheduled to enable the host nation to be the opening game of the tournament, Sky News understands.

FIFA has been considering proposals to allow Qatar to kick off against Ecuador on Sunday 20 November and being the only fixture that day rather than being the third game on the Monday.

The final ratification of the fixture switch needs to come from the FIFA Bureau, which is led by the governing body's president and also features the six heads of football's regional confederations.

It would allow the Netherlands game against Senegal, which is also in Group A, to move from a lunchtime kick-off on Monday, 21 November to an evening slot.

England's game against Iran would remain the second game of the tournament in Group B, being played in the afternoon of 21 November.