Surprise Date-change Overshadows World Cup 100-day Countdown

Doha, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – twelfth Aug, 2022 ) :FIFA and Qatar organisers on Friday counted the price of bringing ahead the beginning of the World Cup by a day as they launched the 100-day countdown to the occasion.

Football’s ruling physique and the rich Gulf state each promised motion to assist followers, sponsors and broadcasters hit by the change, introduced late Thursday, however didn’t give particulars.

The sudden transfer to convey ahead Qatar’s match towards Ecuador by 24 hours — to make it the gala opening match — has solely added to the general public relations issues because the conservative host nation counters criticism of its rights report and fan worries about what to anticipate once they arrive.

“It is less than three months from the start. This has come out of the blue. It is not critical but it is a headache,” stated an govt for one World Cup broadcaster, talking on situation of anonymity.

FIFA stated its president Gianni Infantino and the six heads of the continental confederations had unanimously agreed to make Qatar’s recreation and the official opening ceremony a “stand-alone” occasion.

“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,” FIFA stated in a press release.

Under the previous schedule, Qatar towards Ecuador was to be the official inauguration match on the night of November 21 however Senegal towards Netherlands would have been the primary match of the day, adopted England towards Iran.

– ‘Case by case’ assist – Under the brand new plan, the Group A recreation between Senegal and the Netherlands has been shifted from 1:00pm (1000 GMT) on November 21 to 7:00pm begin.

FIFA stated tickets for the affected matches “will remain valid irrespective of the new date/time.” It added: “In addition, FIFA will seek to address any issues arising from this change in a case-by-case basis.” Qatari organisers, who’ve spent billions of Dollars getting ready for the occasion since successful internet hosting rights in 2010, welcomed FIFA’s gesture for his or her “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to host the occasion.

“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,” organisers added in a press release, with out giving particulars.

Some Ecuador followers could have to alter flights to reach in Qatar earlier and soccer sources stated the date change might drive adjustments to World Cup business contracts.

Ricardo Fort, a sports activities trade marketing consultant and former head of sports activities advertising and marketing for Coca Cola — a serious FIFA backer — stated the date change can be “a huge problem for sponsors”.

“They invited and confirmed hospitality guests, booked flights and hotels, and contracted with all the necessary logistics. Imagine changing it all!” Fort wrote on Twitter.

But some firms linked to the event, the primary World Cup in an Arab nation, expressed confidence that any disruption can be overcome.

“It is something we will deal with,” stated Jaime Byrom, chairman of Match Hospitality, which has a contract with FIFA to organise hospitality packages for World Cup matches and has locked in 450,000 tickets for the event.

“It is really not — compared to the other challenges that we could have faced or have faced in the past — a particularly large problem,” Byrom informed AFP.

“In this case we will be looking at our Ecuadorian customers who are travelling from overseas, and making sure that they are on time for the match.” Official countdown clocks for the occasion have been shortly modified and 100-day occasions have been unexpectedly moved from Saturday to Friday.

FIFA has already made important lodging to Qatar, transferring the event to the winter months for the primary time to keep away from Qatar’s searing warmth.

The large preparations have additionally put the highlight on Qatar’s therapy of migrant employees and rights for LGBTQ guests. Homosexuality is prohibited, whereas alcohol is severely restricted within the Muslim state.

However, Infantino has insisted it is going to be the “best-ever” World Cup.

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