FIFA Moves World Cup Start in Qatar up 1 Day to Nov. 20

 FIFA Moves World Cup Start in Qatar up 1 Day to Nov. 20

The biggest footballing event FIFA has officially moved the world cup start up by one day to cater global audience of hosting nation Qatar an exclusive Sunday evening.
President Gianni Infantino and presidents of the six continental soccer bodies made this decision. FIFA said the vote was unanimous.
FIFA acknowledged in its letter this week the significant value from a ceremonial, cultural and commercial point of view, to have the opening ceremony before the tournament’s first game featuring the host nation.
FIFA will seek to address any issues arising from this change in a case-by-case basis, soccer’s world body said Thursday regarding fans whose travel plans are affected.
The date change was said to be supported by tournament organizers in the tiny gas-rich emirate, South American soccer body CONMEBOL and the two teams’ national soccer federations.

Qatar will now make its World Cup debut kicking off against Ecuador at 7 p.m. local time on Nov. 20 after an opening ceremony on the field at the 60,000-capacity Al Bayt Stadium.

The meeting of the world’s No. 49 and No. 44-ranked men’s national teams was originally scheduled 24 hours later on Nov. 21 after the finals tournament draw was made April 1 in Doha.
In the original schedule, the opening ceremony was still planned to take place before Qatar- Ecuador despite it being the third game of the tournament, and with just an hour of free time after the final whistle of the second game on the schedule, England vs. Iran.
It is unclear why Qatar’s first game was not scheduled in April as the tournament opener. Sponsors could also have their plans disrupted, according to Ricardo Fort, a former marketing executive with World Cup top-tier backers Coca-Cola and Visa, who described the late date change as a huge problem.
European leagues such as England’s Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga and Italy’s Serie A will play through the Nov. 12-13 weekend, just seven days before the new opening game date.
Those leagues will shut down during the World Cup, which ends with a Sunday, Dec. 18 final on Qatar’s National Day. The Premier League is the first to resume on Dec. 26.
While an opening game on Sunday evening in Qatar should play well with viewers in Asia and Europe, in the United States the kickoff will be 11 a.m. EST. That puts the World Cup opener in direct competition with NFL pre-game coverage.
The U.S. soccer team plays its World Cup opener against Wales in the late Monday game in sQatar.

Chris Williams

We research, write and report – that’s our job. I love travelling and reading books.