World Cup trophy
World Cup trophy

The World Cup in Qatar will kick-off a day earlier than scheduled if FIFA’s ruling bureau agree to a plan to hold the opening ceremony and the host nation’s first match on Sunday, November 20th, a source close to the discussions told Reuters.

The original plan was for the opening ceremony to be held before Qatar’s game on November 21 against Ecuador — which created the unusual situation of two 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 v Netherlands and the Group B match between England and Iran were scheduled to take place before the ceremony on the Monday.

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The plan has to be voted on by the heads of FIFA’s six regional confederations and president Gianni Infantino but, despite the late notice, it is expected to win support.

The switch to a November 20 opening ceremony and game would allow the Senegal-Netherlands match, scheduled for 1300 local time on November 21, to kick off later in the day. The Group B matches on that day, which also include the United States v Wales, would be unaffected.