FIFA have confirmed that this year’s World Cup finals in Qatar will start one day earlier to allow the host nation to kick-off the tournament against Ecuador.
African Champions, Senegal was scheduled to open the tournament with 2010 World Cup Finalist, Netherlands on Monday 21 November, kicking off at 10am GMT (5am ET).
According to a statement released by FIFA media the games has now been rescheduled.
‘Bureau of the FIFA Council confirms #WorldCup 2⃣0⃣2⃣2⃣ opening ceremony and match 🇶🇦 v. 🇪🇨 brought forward one day as stand-alone event to 20 November, at 19.00. 🇸🇳 v. 🇳🇱 rescheduled from 13.00 to 19.00 on 21 November.’
The host nation have participated in the opening game of each of the last four editions of the tournament; Germany beat Costa Rica in 2006, South Africa were held 1-1 by Mexico in 2010, Brazil defeated Croatia in 2014 and Russia eased past Saudi Arabia four years later.
The last tournament in which the hosts did not begin the tournament was in 2002, when Senegal memorably beat defending champions France in the opening game of the tournament held in South Korea and Japan. Tradition in the tournament subsequently changed from the competition holders playing in the first game to the host nation.