Skip to main content

2022 World Cup Reportedly Gets New Start Date

2022 FIFA World Cup ball Al Rihla

31 March 2022, Qatar, Doha: Soccer: 2022 FIFA Congress. The official match ball "Al Rihla" ("the journey" in Arabic) for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar lies on the podium during a press conference after the Fifa Congress at the Doha Exhibition & Convention Center (DECC). Photo: Christian Charisius/dpa (Photo by Christian Charisius/picture alliance via Getty Images)

There's some good news for FIFA World Cup fans: It's now even closer than before thanks to a schedule adjustment.

According to ESPN, FIFA has decided to move up the first game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament. Host nation Qatar will now face Ecuador on Sunday, November 20 at 7 p.m. local time (11 a.m. EST).

The 2022 World Cup schedule was originally going to feature Senegal vs. Netherlands on Monday, November 21 as the first game of the tournament. Qatar wouldn't have played until the third game - breaking a longstanding tradition of host nation teams playing the first game.

However, it was Qatar who initially wanted to not play until a little bit later in the first place. Per the report, Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani wanted to have a massive fireworks display prior to his national team's first game. But that would have been much more difficult to pull off in the traditionally early afternoon game.

The move will have a slight domino effect for the first few games of the World Cup. Senegal vs. Netherlands is now being moved from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. local time on Monday, November 21.

There will be no early kickoff game that day.

The Group B games on Tuesday - England vs. Iran and United States vs. Wales - will be unaffected by the change. 

We're just three months away from the start of the 2022 World Cup. And now it's gonna be here one day earlier.