FIFA alters World Cup calendar, sustains existing tradition

By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor

The world football governing body has altered the schedule for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar to uphold its existing tradition where the host nation is fixed to kickstart the fixtures after the opening ceremony.

Before Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, previous editions had the opening game played by the host nation against its opponent which was made different in the 2022 edition.

According to the format adopted by the organisers of the event, the Netherlands was slated to play Senegal in the opening match on November 21 in Qatar while Qatar the host nation, scheduled to play Ecuador, would be at a later date.

However, FIFA may have allegedly had a rethink over the earlier proposition and decided to revert to its traditional way.

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Despite the shake-up to bring forward the Qatar versus Ecuador tie to November 20, other fixtures remain unchanged as the Netherlands will play Senegal on Monday, November 21.

In a statement by FIFA, “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.

“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,” FIFA explained.

Moreover, FIFA added that Qatar versus Ecuador fixture will be held as a stand-alone event on Sunday, November 20.

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