All ticket holders will be notified by email that the relevant matches have been rescheduled and their tickets will remain valid of the new date/time.
The region’s first-ever FIFA World Cup for men will kick off one day earlier than originally planned to allow the host nation to face Ecuador in the tournament’s first match and the grand opening ceremony.
The once ‘just circulating rumours’ was made official on Thursday by the world’s governing body for football, FIFA, switching around several games just as the timeline hit the 100 days mark.
Per the new schedule, the tournament will now start on November 20 instead of November 21, when three games were originally scheduled to kick off.
Senegal vs. the Netherlands was originally scheduled to open up the competition. However, the opening spot will now be taken by Qatar vs. Ecuador at 19:00 as part of a stand-alone event.
The game will kick off right after the grand opening ceremony of this year’s World Cup at Al Bayt Stadium, where millions will be watching across the globe.
“The FIFA World Cup 2022 will kick off with an even greater celebration for local and international fans as host country Qatar will now play Ecuador on Sunday, 20 November at 19:00 as part of a stand-alone event,” a statement from FIFA said.
The body added that the decision will ensure “the continuity of a long-standing tradition” in which the host nation of the defending champions kicks off the first match of a World Cup.
It “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 statement continued.
This change has caused the match between Senegal and the Netherlands to be moved from the afternoon of November 21 to the evening. The release period for players, however, remains unchanged.
Apart from the latest switch, the rest of the matches will kick off as usual.