FIFA has officially announced that the 2022 World Cup will start a day early in order to begin the festivities with hosts Qatar playing in the first match of the mega-event. The decision to advance the tournament by a day was unanimously taken by the bureau of FIFA council.
Initially, the tournament was scheduled to commence on 21 November with European giants, Netherlands taking on current African champions, Senegal, in the opening encounter. According to the new schedule, Qatar will face Ecuador in the opening match of the tournament on 20 November at Al Bayt Stadium.
Traditionally, the FIFA World Cup commences with a match consisting of either the host nation or the defending champion. FIFA decided to amend the schedule in order to maintain the tradition.
FIFA’s decision to advance the tournament did not sit well with the football community across the world as they voiced their concerns regarding their match tickets, hotel bookings, and other travel arrangements. Many of the fans complained that they have already booked their travel arrangements according to the original schedule and felt cheated by FIFA.
The mega event has already been under scrutiny due to many controversies. Recently, German football legend, Phillipp Lahm, revealed that he will boycott the upcoming World Cup due to Qatar’s record of human rights violations.