What started as an open secret ended up becoming a reality. There is good news for all soccer fans' around the world and its most cherished tournament: the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be held earlier. It is official that the wait is shortened: only 101 days to go.

It could not be otherwise, after Qatar 2022 has positioned itself as the edition of the World Cup with more surprises in 92 years of history of this competition. These occurred from the very moment it was designated as the host of the 22th edition of this tournament on the now distant December 2, 2010. 

Thus, FIFA opted to make last-minute changes to the structure of Qatar 2022, which have led to the countdown from 101 to the ball rolling in the Middle East. When will the World Cup be inaugurated and what will be the first match? Find out below.

Changes to the Qatar 2022 schedule announced by FIFA

The upcoming World Cup has moved up 24 hours its start and it will begin on Sunday, November 20, 2022. An inauguration ceremony will be held and inmediately the first game will happen: Qatar National Team vs Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium. So, Thursday, August 11 marks 101 days to the kickoff of the tournament.

Originally, the ribbon for the upcoming FIFA World Cup was scheduled to be cut on Monday, November 21, 2022. Evidently, soccer's biggest festival could not begin without an opening match, and the Final Draw showed that it would feature the host country and Ecuador. However, that would be the beginning of a series of changes. 

After the draw was made, FIFA announced that there would be a change for the opening match, which would now be played by Senegal and the Netherlands. This meant the breaking of a 72-year tradition: since Brazil 1950, the first match of this tournament was played either by the host or the defending champion.

However, the announcement made by FIFA brings back to life the ritual of the start of the World Cup and extends the trend that had been maintained for 4 editions, since Germany 2006, of seeing the host country playing the first match of the tournament.