The world football governing body, FIFA, is set to change the commencement date of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
The 2022 World Cup was originally scheduled to start on Monday, November 21 with Senegal playing the Netherlands in the curtain raiser of the tournament.
Hosts Qatar were also scheduled to play Ecuador that same day after the Three Lions of England face Iran.
However, FIFA has now made plans to reschedule Qatar’s game to Sunday, November 20 (4 pm GMT).
The schedule change will not affect England’s game with Iran which will still take place the next day at 1 pm GMT as previously announced.
But Senegal’s game against the Netherlands will now be played at 4 pm GMT on Monday when Qatar was originally supposed to play Ecuador.
FIFA wrote a letter to the Bureau of FIFA Council to effect the change.
“It has been a long-standing tradition of the World Cup to mark the start of the FIFA World Cup with an opening ceremony on the occasion of the first match featuring either the hosts or the defending champions, a factor that is considered to have significant value from a ceremonial, cultural and a commercial point of view.
“The FIFA administration has assessed the commercial and legal implications of the proposal- including the impact on the contractual commitments across media rights, sponsorship, and ticketing and hospitality- as well as the impact on traveling fans and, has determined that any risk is sufficiently outweighed by the value and benefits of the proposals.”
Qatar had refused to play in the opening game of the tournament at first, which was supposed to be at 1 pm local time on Monday, November 21.
The reason for the initial turning down of the first game is said to be because the country’s leader Emir Tamim bin Hamad wanted to have a fireworks display to celebrate Qatar’s first appearance at the FIFA World Cup.
He believed that the display could be affected if Qatar played in the day rather than in the evening.
However, the Qatar national team seems to have rescinded its decision.
Qatar is in Group A alongside Senegal, Netherlands, and Ecuador.