Saturday, October 1, 2022

2022 FIFA World Cup: Qatar match set to be moved a day earlier, tournament to kick off on November 20

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The wait to begin the World Cup could be shorter than expected, at least by a day. Qatar’s match could be moved forward to November 20 from it’s original Nov. 21 slot. Historically, the host country has been involved in the opening match of the world cup but Qatar are scheduled to kick off against Ecuador in the third match on Nov. 21. The hosts reportedly wanted a night match in order to have an accompanying fireworks display and they could now face Ecuador on November 20 before the opening ceremony of the World Cup to kick things off.

Ecuador’s FA are on board with the shift, despite it only giving them six days instead of seven to get their squad together and situated in Qatar after the European leagues break for the World Cup. There is still the looming appeal from Chile to have Ecuador removed from the World Cup after losing their case with FIFA. Chile claims that right back Byron Castillo had falsified his documents and should be deemed ineligible for COMENBOL qualifiers which would see Chile qualify for the World Cup. While FIFA initially ruled against Chile, the appeal remains pending.

While there is no timeline for when that will be resolved, it needs to be dealt with soon as the final field and schedule for the World Cup needs to be confirmed. It’s already rare for matches to shift days but adding that with the short release period makes for tricky territory. There is also the additional shift in ticket prices as the opening match is classed as the highest category one match, followed by group stage matches. An official decision on when Qatar’s match will be should be announced within the next few days.

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