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Qatar World Cup 2022 start date to change as FIFA allows hosts to play first

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FIFA is set to move the start date of the World Cup one day earlier so that host nation Qatar can play first, The Athletic understands.

• Why is the Qatar World Cup controversial?

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar — controversial for the reasons outlined in this article — is the first winter World Cup to take place in the northern hemisphere.

The host country has featured in the opening game of every World Cup since 2006, before which the defending champion usually featured in the first match.

Agreement is expected to be granted, meaning the World Cup will now take place from November 20 to December 18.

However, it is understood that Qatar want to play first, as has become customary for the host nation.

England’s opening game, against Iran on November 21, will be played that day as planned.
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