The Qatar 2022 World Cup It is not news that Qatar is the third member nation ever of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to host the World Cup. But following the co-hosting of the 2002 FIFA World Cup by South Korea and Japan, Qatar 2022 will be the second AFC World Cup ever.
The opening ceremony:
Since the inception of the World Cup 21 editions ago, the hosts have played the opening match to welcome every participant to their country. Qatar, however, will be breaking this tradition come November 21.
This will make them the second hosts to sit out the opening game of the World Cup after their AFC counterparts South Korea and Japan did it 20 years ago in the 2002 World Cup. In that edition, France and Senegal opened the World Cup, before hosts Japan and South Korea faced their opponents a few days later. This will see Senegal – like they did 20 years ago – open the World Cup with Netherlands, before Qatar face Ecuador in the evening of November 21 when the Emir’s planned ceremony will take place.
However, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim wants to put on a big fireworks display before his country – who are making their World Cup debut – faces Ecuador. An afternoon kick-off would reduce the beauty of the display and as such, FIFA have agreed to push Qatar’s game until the evening of the opening day while the other teams in Group A, Senegal and the Netherlands, face off in the planned afternoon kickoff as the opening match of the 22nd World Cup.
The 2022 Qatar World Cup will now get under way a day earlier than originally scheduled with the host nation facing Ecuador in the opening match on Sunday, November 20. The opening game of the tournament was due to see Senegal face the Netherlands at 1pm (10am GMT) on Monday November 21, but that fixture will now take place at 7pm (4pm GMT) on the same date. The change is in line with the long-standing tradition of opening matches involving hosts or reigning champions.
World Cup 2022:
A FIFA statement released on Thursday included: “The decision followed an assessment of the competition and operational implications, as well as a thorough consultation process and an agreement with key stakeholders and the host country. The release period, as previously decided and as governed by the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, will remain unchanged, beginning on 14 November 2022.