Tuesday, September 27, 2022

FIFA looking to bring forward WC, could kick-off 1 day earlier 

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Market Desk (sports): The World Cup in Qatar could kick-off 1 day earlier than scheduled with FIFA looking at plan to hold the opening and the host nation’s first match on Sunday Nov 20th, 2022.

The original plan was for the opening ceremony to be held before Qatar’s game on 21stNovember which created the unusual situation of 2 matches being held before the ceremony.Normally the ceremony is conducted before the kick-off of the first game of the tournament.

The Group ‘A’ match between Senegal and the Netherlands and the Group ‘B’ match between England and Iran were scheduled to take place before the ceremony. The match schedule was finalized after the draw was made in Doha on 1st April.

The proposal to create a 29-day tournament instead of the long-planned 28 has been favored by Qatari officials and South American football body CONMEBOL, with talks also involving the Qatar and Ecuador football federations.

The Group ‘B’ matches on that day, which also included the US v Wales, would be unaffected.

Another source close to the proposal said the switch could be confirmed as early as Thursday and that the plan was to ensure that fans did not have to pay for any changes to flights or accommodation.

It was not clear what the mechanism will be to manage any compensation for fans.

The Nov 21-Dec 18 tournament schedule was agreed to so that European clubs could play before releasing their players to the 32 World Cup teams.

The final will be played on a Sunday that is Qatar’s National Day, allowing a full week for players to return to clubs before the Premier League plays its traditional Boxing Day games on Dec 26.

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