FIFA, the world football governing body, is planning to move the start date of the Qatar 2022 World Cup to allow hosts Qatar to participate in the first match of the tournament.
The tournament was scheduled to begin on Monday, November 21, with Senegal taking on The Netherlands in Group A.
However, if the new development is approved, Qatar will begin the tournament against Ecuador, also in Group A, on Sunday, November 20.
This hasn’t been confirmed yet, according to a number of reports, because the FIFA Council’s Bureau, which consists of Gianni Infantino, the President of FIFA, and the presidents of each continental confederation, is yet to approve the change.
The competition will now take place from November 20 to the final on December 18 after approval of the new commencement date.
In each of the last four tournaments, the host team has played in the opening match. Germany overcame Costa Rica in 2006, South Africa was tied 1-1 with Mexico in 2010, Brazil defeated Croatia in 2014, and Russia easily defeated Saudi Arabia in 2016.
The last time the hosts did not start the tournament was in 2002 when Senegal famously defeated defending champions France in the opening game of the tournament held in South Korea and Japan.
The tournament’s tradition later shifted from the competition holders playing in the first game to the host nation.
The most famous event in football is usually played throughout the summer, but this year it was moved to November and December due to the extreme heat in Qatar, the host country.
For the first time in the 92-year history of the World Cup, the tournament will take place in the middle of the European domestic campaign, pausing the Premier League and other top leagues around the world for six weeks after the first three months of the season.