The international football governing body, FIFA recently made a formal confirmation that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will kick off on November 20, 2022, a day before it was originally planned. While the tournament will officially open with a grand opening ceremony on November 20 at the Al Bayt Stadium, hosts Qatar and Ecuador will headline the tournament opener later in the day.
It is pertinent to mention that the original schedule would have seen Qatar and Ecuador locking horns in the third game of the tournament on November 21. On the other hand, the original first game, which was scheduled to be played between Netherland and Senegal will now be played in the slot vacated by Qatar and Ecuador on November 21. The reason behind the date change is to give the host nation Qatar an exclusive Sunday evening slot with a global audience.
Meanwhile, a FIFA committee comprising of president Gianni Infantino and presidents of the six continental soccer bodies signed off the late date switch after a unanimous vote. As per the Associated Press, in a letter to soccer officials last week, FIFA said that the risks faced by fas due to the date switch “is sufficiently outweighed by the value and benefits of the proposal”. The Qatar vs Ecuador match became the opening game of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 after several rounds of ticket sales, that began last year.
The World No. 1 ranked team in FIFA rankings, Brazil is considered to be at their peak currently, and is being seen as the top favourites. The side features Neymar, and Vinicius Junior among other superstars and is looking to win their first World Cup title since 2002. Belgium is currently ranked No. 2 in FIFA rankings and is one of the top teams to play in the FIFA World Cup. Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne will be leading the Belgium team in Qatar.
The Lionel Messi starrer Argentina are also among the top teams, as they continue for the first World Cup title since the day of Diego Maradona. This will be the first FIFA World Cup for No. 3 Argentina after the legendary footballer passed away in 2020. The No. 4 ranked France will be the defending champions at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The side features Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema among other top stars. It is pertinent to mention that no teams have managed to retain the coveted World Cup title since Brazil in 1962.