Soccer's biggest party is approaching at breathtaking speed. It is getting closer and closer to enjoying the event that paralyzes the world every four years. Qatar 2022 will offer 64 matches that will define the new monarch of soccer at the national team level. Which match will mark the beginning of this prestigious tournament?
The date to circulate in the calendar is November 20. From that moment on, and for 27 delightful days, soccer fans will be there for nothing and no one else but to enjoy the action that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 promises to deliver.
And how not to get excited, if the Qatari fields will be paraded, perhaps for the last time in World Cups, by stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Karim Benzema, Luis Suarez, among others. Likewise, there will be great promises that intend to reach soccer adulthood through memorable performances on the highest stage in soccer.
The opening game of the upcoming FIFA World Cup
The first match or the opening game of the FIFA World Cup does not follow a strict tradition and has oscillated between being played by the host country, the defending champion of the tournament, or any other pair of teams. Qatar 2022 will be no exception.
The list of World Cups that have been inaugurated by a match involving the host country is as follows: Italy 1934, Brazil 1950, England 1966, Mexico 1970, Germany 2006, South Africa 2010, Brazil 2014, and Rusia 2018.
On the other hand, those FIFA World Cups in which the host country of the tournament did not appear, but the defending champion did were: Switzerland 1954, Germany 1974, Argentina 1978, Spain 1982, Mexico 1986, Italy 1990, USA 1994, France 1998, Korea-Japan 2002.
What will be the opening match of Qatar 2022?
Originally, the first match of the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup was expected to be Qatar vs Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium. However, soccer's highest governing body announced that modifications would be made to the previously announced match schedules, so the honor of being the opening match of this tournament would be passed on to other teams.
Qatar 2022 will thus join Uruguay 1930, France 1938, and Sweden 1958 as the World Cups in which neither the host country nor the defending champion (except for 1930, the first edition of the tournament) will star the opening match: the ribbon cutting will be performed by Senegal and the Netherlands at Al Thumama Stadium.
**On August 11, 2022, FIFA has made another last-minute change to Qatar 2022 World Cup schedule: this one moved up the opening day from November 21 to Sunday, November 20, and also gave back to Qatar vs Ecuador the status of the inauguration match, as this game will be held inmediately after the opening ceremony.