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Qatar World Cup 2022 set for start date change as FIFA allows hosts to play first

FIFA is set to move the start date of the World Cup one day earlier so that host nation Qatarcan play first according to The Athletic.

Previously, the tournament was scheduled to begin on Monday November 21, with Senegalplaying the Netherlands.

However, it is understood that Qatar want to play first, as has become customary for the host nation.

Their game against Ecuador is now slated to move forward to Sunday November 20. It will kick-off at 7pm (2pm ET).

England’s opening game, against Iran on November 21, will be played that day as planned.

The decision still needs to be approved by the Bureau of the FIFA Council, made up of president Gianni Infantino and the leaders of each continental confederation (UEFA, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, CAF, AFC, and OFC).

Agreement is expected to be granted, meaning the World Cup will now take place from November 20 to December 18.

The host country has featured in the opening game of every World Cup since 2006, before which the defending champion usually featured in the first match.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is the first winter World Cup to take place in the northern hemisphere.

The Premier League will break for more than a month after the weekend of November 12/13 before beginning again after the final on December 18. The top-flight season will resume on December 26 for the traditional Boxing Day round of fixtures.

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