The World Cup in Qatar should first take place in the summer months. But the temperatures made this impossible. The new start date: November 21, 2022. After the draw but astonishment. The first game is not the opening game. So that this can be the case, the tournament starts earlier.
Reset your alarms, set new reminders on your calendar, reprogram your recording devices. Change of plan at the World Cup in Qatar. Hardly more than 100 days before kick-off. Buckle up and prepare for the early desert spectacle in Qatar. The men's soccer World Cup starts a day earlier. This is invariably good news for people who like traditional opening games.
Because that’s how the 2022 World Cup gets a real opening game. (And some will say: The opening game this tournament deserves). On November 20, 2022, the Sunday of the Dead, hosts Qatar will invite the Ecuador squad to the field of Al Bayt Stadium for the first game of what has been a highly contentious tournament for so many reasons.
So far, the tournament in Qatar was only supposed to start on November 21st. With the game Netherlands vs. Senegal at 11 a.m. Central European Time. At 2 p.m. the game between England and Iran would also have moved ahead of the actual opening game, which was previously planned for 5 p.m. The game of the Dutch should now move to this position after the transfer.
As AFP and "The Athletic" unanimously report, the World Cup hosts campaigned for the new date in order to open the tournament as host nation, following the tradition since 2006. The decision has yet to be approved by the FIFA Council Presidency, but approval is expected, according to The Athletic.
So now the tournament gets its opening game in the middle of the desert. Opened last November, Al Bayt Stadium, with a capacity of 60,000, is the tournament's second largest stadium and the only one located well outside the Qatari capital, Doha.
The stadium itself is an event. It will remain a football stadium after the World Cup, but then only with half the capacity. The upper part is to be converted into a five-star hotel after the World Cup. But before that happens, the German national team will also be playing at least two games in the Al-Bayt Stadium in the coastal town of Al-Khor. On November 27th the Flick-Elf meets Spain and on December 1st Costa Rica. And on November 20th, as you now know, the World Cup is supposed to open there. An official confirmation is not yet available.