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World Cup 2022: Tournament set to start one day early with Qatar v Ecuador

The World Cup is set to start one day earlier than planned on Sunday, 20 November with hosts Qatar taking on Ecuador.

The Group A opener was due to be played on 21 November at 4:00 pm GMT, as the third match of the competition.

The 2022 World Cup will reportedly now start one day earlier than originally planned, with Qatar vs Ecuador set to be the opening game of the tournament. Subject to final confirmation, that match will take place on Sunday 20 November, having previously been scheduled for Monday 21 November.

The opening match of the tournament was to be Senegal against the Netherlands at 10:00, earlier on a Monday. However, the administrative arm of the world governing body Fifa has submitted a proposal to move the Qatar game.

It followed discussions with Qatar and their opponents Ecuador, after receiving a request from the South American confederation Conmebol. It fits in with the tradition of either the hosts or the holders being involved in the opening match.

The final decision will be made by the Bureau of the Fifa council, which comprises the six confederation presidents, plus Fifa president Gianni Infantino. If it is approved as expected, it would not change the release dates for players, and Senegal against the Netherlands would be switched to 4:00 pm on a Monday, given only three games would be played instead of the present four.

England’s Group B match with Iran, which is being played at 1:00 on 21 November, would be unaffected.

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