The date has been moved from November 21, 2022, to November 20, 2022, according to FIFA, allowing the host nation to host the opening match. Following the pregame ceremony for the game at the Al Bayt Stadium, Qatar will take on Ecuador on the rescheduled date.
According to the FIFA-released fixtures calendar, the competition will kick off with a match between the European team, the Netherlands, and the African champions, Senegal.
The host nation has taken part in the opening match of the FIFA World Cup in each of the previous four tournaments. In 2006, Germany overcame Costa Rica; in 2010, Mexico tied South Africa at 1; in 2014, Brazil defeated Croatia; and in 2018, Russia defeated Saudi Arabia.
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. Ticket holders will be duly notified by email that the relevant matches have been rescheduled and their tickets will remain valid irrespective of the new date/time.
Senegal defeated France in Korea/Japan 2002 in 2002, the last occasion a host nation skipped the competition’s first match.