If FIFA’s controlling body approves of a plan to stage the opening ceremony and the host nation’s first match on Sunday, Nov. 20, the World Cup in Qatar will begin a day earlier than scheduled, a source close to the discussions told Reuters.
Originally, the opening ceremony was supposed to take place before Qatar’s match versus Ecuador on November 21. This led to the uncommon circumstance of the ceremony taking place before two different games.
The ceremony often takes place prior to the opening kickoff of the tournament.
Prior to the ceremony on Monday, matches between England and Iran in Group B and Senegal vs. the Netherlands in Group A were set.
Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, and the leaders of its six regional confederations must vote on the proposal, but despite the short notice, it is anticipated to be approved.
By moving the opening ceremony and first game to Nov. 20, the Senegal-Netherlands match, which was originally slated to begin at 1300 local time on Nov. 21, might start later that day. That day’s Group B matchups, which also feature the United States vs. Wales match, would not be impacted.
According to a second source familiar with the idea, the switch may be official as soon as Thursday, and it was intended to prevent fans from incurring additional costs for altered travel plans or lodging.
“The financial impact to fans has been evaluated, and any additional costs to fans will be paid by organizers,” the source said. “However, it is unknown who would cover these costs, whether it be FIFA, Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, or another organization.”