LONDON (UNITED KINGDOM), August 10 (PA Media/dpa/EP) –
FIFA is considering a request to bring forward the start of the World Cup in Qatar by one day, which is scheduled for November 21, and to start the tournament with the match between the hosts and Ecuador, which would become the opening match.
So far, the World Cup is scheduled to start on Monday, November 21, with the Group A duel between the Netherlands and Senegal. Qatar are in the same group as hosts, although they would only make their debut in the third game of the tournament, and face Ecuador in Group B after England started their trip against Iran.
However, the hosts have opened all major tournaments since 2006 and according to the PA news agency, FIFA is considering a proposal to move the start date to Sunday November 20. This could make Qatar-Ecuador the only game to be played on Sunday at 19:00 local time that day.
The application is now in the hands of the FIFA Council, which includes the presidents of the six confederations, with the approval of both teams and CONMEBOL.
England’s first game at the Khalifa International Stadium would not be affected, nor would their other Group B clash, which pits Wales against the United States. Netherlands-Senegal would be moved to the schedule currently occupied by Qatar, i.e. between the English and Welsh games.
In addition, FIFA understands that bringing the start date forward would have no impact on the preparation of the tenders for the different teams or on their respective concentrations and preparations.