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Qatar World Cup 2022 'to begin one day earlier than planned'

FIFA is due to vote on a plan to hold the opening ceremony and first match on 20 November, sources say
This picture taken on 10 May 2022 shows a view of the FIFA World Cup Trophy while on display at the Katara cultural village in Qatar's capital Doha (AFP)

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will begin one day earlier on 20 November if FIFA agrees to move the opening ceremony and host country's first match onto that day, Reuters reported.

The original plan was for the opening ceremony to be held before Qatar's game against Ecuador on 21 November, which created the unusual situation of two matches being held before the ceremony took place.

Normally the ceremony is conducted before the kick-off of the first game of the tournament.

The Group A match between Senegal v Netherlands and the Group B match between England and Iran were scheduled to take place before the ceremony on 21 November.

The plan still has to be voted on by the heads of FIFA's six regional confederations and its president Gianni Infantino but, despite the late notice, it is expected to win support.

The switch to a 20 November opening ceremony and game would allow the Senegal-Netherlands match, scheduled for 1300 local time on 21 November, to kick off later in the day.

The Group B matches on that day, which also includes the United States v Wales, would be unaffected.

Qatar 2022 is also the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East.

Initially, the football event was supposed to start in July, but it was moved to November because Qatar was considered too hot during the summer. It is the first tournament not to be held in May, June or July.