The FIFA 2022 World Cup, the largest international football tournament, will commence on Sunday, November 20th in Qatar, featuring 32 teams competing for the ultimate prize.
In the inaugural game, the home country will field their team, and the 22nd installment of the tournament is being held in the Middle East for the very first time, in accordance with the customs of the World Cup.
As the proceedings commence, FIFA is encouraging spectators to direct their attention towards the game, and the competition has been surrounded by controversy regarding human rights and infrastructure ever since Qatar was selected as the host.
During the mid-year period, Qatar experiences severe temperatures that shield players from November and December, as opposed to June and July, when the tournament takes place. Brazil, Argentina, and France are among the countries anticipated to advance to the later stages.
The Sporting News brings you all the details of what to expect from the first match at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
ADDITIONAL: Full FIFA World Cup 2022 timetable.
The FIFA 2022 World Cup will begin on Sunday, November 20th, with Ecuador hosting Qatar at Bayt Al Khor Stadium.
After a FIFA modification to the World Cup timetable, the game will commence at 7 p.M. In the vicinity (11 a.M. Eastern Time / 4 p.M. Greenwich Mean Time).
When the fixtures were initially revealed in April 2022, the tournament was originally planned to commence on Monday Nov. 21, with the first match being Senegal vs. The Netherlands.
In their own country, Qatar would encounter Ecuador in the first game, guaranteeing that the host nation did not lose the opportunity to participate in a debut World Cup match. Nevertheless, FIFA intervened three months prior to the scheduled start of the tournament, declaring.
MORE: World Cup 2022 Group A: Match timetable, fixtures, timings and dates.
Opening Match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup
As is traditional at the World Cup, the first game of the 2022 tournament will be preceded by a commencement ceremony.
The opening celebration at Al Bayt Stadium, which can accommodate 60,000 people and has a retractable roof, will feature the introduction of the tournament’s official theme song, mascot, and soundtrack, creating a captivating setting for the spectators.
Jung Kook, a K-Pop star and member of the BTS group, will be featured in a performance at the local opening ceremony. The ceremony will take place at 5 p.M.
ADDITIONAL: What exactly is FIFA?
First-ever match between Qatar and Ecuador
Spanish coach Felix Sanchez will have his work cut out for him as his team hopes to impress and make it into the finals of the World Cup tournament in Qatar, but they face a dangerous Ecuador team in their first ever match.
During the World Cup qualifying, Ecuador scored a total of 27 goals, equaling the number achieved by their Argentina rivals in the CONMEBOL, to bring their brand of attacking football to Qatar. Manager Gustavo Alfaro will encourage his players to be direct and offensively minded.
Qatar is not to be underestimated, as they reached the semifinals of the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup and won the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, proving their strength. However, they may face challenges in their defense, as they were scored against by Ecuador, a team that scored at least one goal in each of their last nine matches in the World Cup qualifiers.
Ecuador will compete against Senegal and Qatar will confront the Netherlands when the two teams resume their matches nine days later on Tuesday, November 29th.
ADDITIONAL: Ecuador’s World Cup team for 2022.
Which stadium will be the venue for the opening match of the World Cup?
The opening ceremony and first match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup will occur at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.
Al Khor, located 35km north of Doha, the capital of Qatar, is utilized by the nomadic population of Qatar. It has been meticulously crafted by Dar al-Handasah architects to mirror the traditional bayt-al shaar tent, which holds cultural significance for the locals.
The stadium’s exterior is distinguished by black and white horizontal stripes, while inside there are lively sadu patterns.
The opening ceremony is always iconic. It all begins at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday. 🎆 #Qatar2022 pic.twitter.com/xtCqiA9ivN
Start times of the World Cup matches
The last window will occur at 10 p.M. In the local time (2 p.M. Eastern Time / 7 p.M. Greenwich Mean Time) along with the other start times that will be used during the initial phase are three. The initial matches scheduled to be played at 1 p.M. In the local time (5 a.M. Eastern Time / 10 a.M. Greenwich Mean Time) with the games of the group stage will commence at different intervals throughout the day.
During the group-stage period, a maximum of four matches will be played each day.
Matches in the elimination rounds will commence either at 6 p.M. Local time or 10 p.M. Local time. During the knockout phase, the start times will be limited to two primary slots on each matchday.