FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: date, time, first match, stadium and more

The 2022 FIFA men's World Cup will commence on Sunday, Nov. 20. Though the match is ahead a month, the host remains the same, Qatar. 32 teams will be competing for international football's greatest title.


The 2022 FIFA men's World Cup will commence on Sunday, November 20. Though the match is ahead a month, the host remains the same, Qatar. 

 32 teams will be competing for international football's greatest title.

The 22nd FIFA tournament is being hosted in the Middle East for the first time. As per the World Cup tradition, it's the host nation which will be contesting in the opening match.

The ongoing controversy over human rights and infrastructure in the host nation have shrouded the tournament and FIFA is urging viewers to focus on the football as the action begins.

Nations like Brazil, Argentina and France are among the teams that are expected to make it to the latter stages of the tournament which is scheduled to be played in November and December instead of June and July to protect players from the severe temperatures that might affect them during their stay in Qatar in the middle of the year.

The opening game of the 2022 World Cup: When is it?

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will commence on  Sunday, November 20. 

The  host nation Qatar will be playing with Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.

The match will take place at 7 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET / 4 p.m. GMT) after which  a FIFA change to the World Cup schedule will be taking place.

The game was initially scheduled to take place on Monday November 21, in which Senegal vs. the Netherlands was determined as the opening match when the announcement was first made in April 2022. 

FIFA is three months ahead of the date on which the tournament was scheduled. 

The announcement that Qatar would face Ecuador in the opening match was made in order to ensure that the host nation would not miss on the opportunity to play in an inaugural World Cup match in their nation which is made the host .

World Cup 2022 first match: Opening Ceremony 

As a tradition at the World Cup, the inaugural match of FIFA 2022 will be commenced by an opening ceremony.

The Al Bayt Stadium has a capacity of 60,000 and a retractable roof. The stadium will be providing the backdrop for the opening celebration which will introduce spectators to the 2022 edition tournament's official anthem, mascot and soundtrack.

This opening ceremony will be taking place at 5 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET / 2 p.m. GMT), and will feature an exciting performance from singer and K-Pop sensation Jung Kook from BTS.

Opening Match: Qatar vs. Ecuador

Host nation Qatar is ready to go into their first ever match at a World Cup finals tournament, against the Ecuador team.

During qualifying for the World Cup, Ecuador scored 27 goals.

The two teams are to return to action nine days later on Tuesday, November 29, when Ecuador plays against Senegal and Qatar against Netherlands.

In which stadium will the World Cup opening match be hosted?

Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor is determined the place in which the ever fascinating 

2022 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony and inaugural match will be taking place. 

The location of Al Khor is 35 kilometres north of Qatar's capital, Doha.

The stadium has been constructed by architect Dar al-Handasah.

The structure is intended to resemble the traditional bayt-al shaar tent used by Qatar's nomadic people.

The stadium has monochrome, black and white horizontal stripes distinguishing the exterior of the stadium, and inside there are vibrant sadu patterns.

World Cup commencement time slots

The commencement of group stage games will be at staggered intervals throughout the entire day.

While the opening matches are set to be played at 1 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET / 10 a.m. GMT).

 The other three starting time slots that would be utilised during the group stage, 

The final window would be coming at 10 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. GMT).

Maximum four matches will be played each day in the group-stage period.

During the knockout stage, the match timings would be reduced to two main windows on any given matchday. 

Games in the knockout rounds will take place at either 6 p.m. local time or 10 p.m. local time.





USA & Canada








Group stage only

1 p.m.

5 a.m.

10 a.m.

9 p.m.

3:30 p.m.

Group stage only

4 p.m.

8 a.m.

1 p.m.

12 a.m.

6:30 p.m.

Knockouts only

6 p.m.

10 a.m.

3 p.m.

2 a.m.

8:30 p.m.

Group stage only

7 p.m.

11 a.m.

4 p.m.

3 a.m.

9:30 p.m.

Group + Knockouts

10 p.m.

2 p.m.

7 p.m.

6 a.m.

12:30 a.m.


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