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FIFA set to bring World Cup in Qatar forward with tournament due to start in months

Daisy Phillipson

Published 
| Last updated 

FIFA set to bring World Cup in Qatar forward with tournament due to start in months

Featured Image Credit: Valerio Rosati/Gregory Adams/Alamy Stock Photo

The upcoming World Cup tournament is set to start a day earlier so that the host nation Qatar's team can play first.

FIFA had originally planned for the games to kick off on Monday, 21 November, with Senegal playing against the Netherlands.

However, according to The Athletic, it's believed that since host nations typically start the games, Qatar is hoping to play the first match.

Their game against Ecuador is now scheduled for Sunday, 20 November, with kick off starting at 7.00pm (2.00pm ET), although the decision to change the date is awaiting approval.

Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022. Credit: FIFA
Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022. Credit: FIFA

Even if it is confirmed, the switch won't impact England's opening game against Iran, which will go ahead on 21 November as planned.

The outlet suggested that the agreement is expected to be approved by the Bureau of the FIFA Council in the coming days, meaning the World Cup would run from 20 November to 18 December.

FIFA previously pointed out that it has become customary for the host nation to start the football event, a tradition that started in 2006.

This year's edition was moved to winter due to the soaring temperatures in the country during the summer months.

It's the first World Cup to be held in a Muslim country, and as such there will be strict controls on alcohol consumption.

Alcohol consumption will be limited at this year's event. Credit: dpa picture alliance/Alamy
Alcohol consumption will be limited at this year's event. Credit: dpa picture alliance/Alamy

According to Reuters, organisers will allow alcoholic beer sales outside the venues before and after the matches, but there will be a complete ban on the stadiums inside. 

Given the country has a law against being drunk in public, it is not entirely surprising, but no doubt the news will still be a major blow to the 1.2 million footy fans who would normally let loose at the event.

As for other substances, visitors have been warned that they could land themselves in jail with hefty fines if they try to smuggle drugs into the country.

According to local law, anyone caught trying to bring drugs into Qatar could face 20 years in prison and a fine of between 100,000 (£21,349) and 300,000 riyals (£64,047).

There are also strict laws against sex before marriage, and while some reports state punishment is generally a year behind bars, non-profit Human Dignity Trust suggests it can be up to seven.

Similarly, same-sex intercourse is prohibited under the Penal Code 2004 and could also lead to a prison stay of similar length.

One night stands are off the cards. Credit: Unsplash
One night stands are off the cards. Credit: Unsplash

This was backed up by a police insider who told the Daily Star: "Sex is very much off the menu, unless you are coming as a husband and wife team.

"There definitely will be no one-night stands at this tournament.

"There will be no partying at all really. Everyone needs to keep their heads about them, unless they want to risk ­being stuck in prison.

"There is essentially a sex ban in place at this year’s World Cup for the first time ever. Fans need to be prepared."

Topics: Sport, Football, World Cup

Daisy Phillipson
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