FIFA said in a statement this week that football’s top officials universally approved the decision, while Qatar said it would give unspecified help to fans affected by the change.
On the old schedule, Qatar against Ecuador was to be the official inauguration match on 21 November but Senegal against Netherlands would be the first match of the day. England against Iran would have been the second.
Qatar had also been frustrated as it has invested in a huge opening ceremony show.
“Host country Qatar will now play Ecuador on Sunday 20 November as part of a stand-alone event,” said FIFA.
“The opening match and ceremony of this year’s tournament at Al Bayt Stadium have been brought forward one day following a unanimous decision taken by the bureau of the FIFA Council today (Thursday).”
The bureau is made up of FIFA leader Gianni Infantino and the six heads of the continental confederations.
“The change ensures the continuity of a long-standing tradition of marking the start of the World Cup with an opening ceremony on the occasion of the first match featuring either the hosts or the defending champions,” added FIFA.
Under the new plan, the Group A game between Senegal and the Netherlands has been shifted from 13:00 (14:30 Kabul time) on 21 November to a 19:00 start. There is no change to England’s opening Group B clash against Iran.
Qatari organizers, who have spent billions of dollars preparing for the event, immediately welcomed FIFA’s gesture.
“Opening the first FIFA World Cup to be held in the Middle East and Arab world is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Qatar,” said the organizing committee in a statement.
“The impact of this decision on fans was assessed by FIFA. We will work together to ensure a smooth tournament for the supporters affected by the change,” they added without giving details.
Ariana Television Network (ATN) meanwhile announced in July it had secured the exclusive rights to broadcast the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ in Afghanistan.
According to company officials, the broadcasting schedule will be revised to include the events of November 20.
Ariana Television Network, the Official and Exclusive broadcaster of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ in Afghanistan, has worked closely with FIFA to bring what is undoubtedly the world’s most prestigious event into as many homes in Afghanistan as possible.
While not much has been revealed about the opening ceremony, the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is reported to have special plans for the event, with some reports indicating he has a big fireworks display planned.