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FIFA confirm 2022 World Cup will kick off a day earlier than planned with Qatar clash moved

The World Cup in Qatar will kick off a day earlier than previously scheduled, FIFA confirmed on Thursday.

Originally, the plan was to hold the tournament’s opening ceremony before the hosts’ game against Ecuador on November 21st, three days into the World Cup.

In that situation, Senegal vs Netherlands and England vs Iran would have taken place before the opening ceremony, though that oddity has now been rectified.

Qatar’s game has now been moved to Sunday November 20 with kick-off at 4pm BST, meaning Senegal’s clash with the Netherlands will now be at the same time on the following day.

The decision will not affect the release dates for players from club duty.

“The change ensures the continuity of a long-standing tradition of marking the start of the FIFA World Cup with an opening ceremony on the occasion of the first match featuring either the hosts or the defending champions,” read a FIFA statement.

“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.”

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