World Cup, Qatar 2022 build-up with a day to go: Opening ceremony details, Italian referee Orsato to officiate opening match

Welcome to Sportstar’s build-up for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar with a day to go.


The opening ceremony of the World Cup will take place on November 20, ahead of the opening Group A match between host Qatar and Ecuador.

The opening ceremony is scheduled to begin at 7:30 pm IST.

The original plan was for the opening ceremony to be held before Qatar’s first game on November 21, which would have created the unusual situation of two games being held before it. The opening match was then brought forward by a day.

Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso said he will not attend his nation’s high-profile opening match against Qatar, citing domestic unrest.

  • ⦿Women referees train in Doha ahead of 2022 World Cup
  • ⦿Italian referee Orsato to officiate Qatar vs Ecuador opening match

Italian referee Daniele Orsato was chosen on Friday to handle the opening game of the World Cup.

FIFA picked Orsato for Sunday’s match between host Qatar and Ecuador, describing him as “one of Europe’s most experienced referees.” He turns 47 on Wednesday.

Until 2016, FIFA imposed a mandatory age limit of 45 on match officials for international games.

Orsato, who was a video review official at the last World Cup, refereed the 2020 Champions League final when Bayern Munich beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0. He worked three games at last year’s European Championship, which was won by his home country.

Italian referees have one of the best reputations in the modern era of World Cups, handling two of the past five finals.

FIFA referees committee chairman Pierluigi Collina officiated the 2002 final and Nicola Rizzoli was picked for the 2014 final. – AP

  • ⦿Iniesta backs Spain’s youngsters to deliver at World Cup in Qatar

Spain’s World Cup-winning midfielder Andres Iniesta said head coach Luis Enrique’s youthful squad has plenty of first-team experience at club level to deliver international success.

The 2010 champion has opted for a new generation of talent with the likes of Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara and Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea left out.

A lot will be expected from exciting Barcelona teenagers Pedri and Gavi at the finals in Qatar and Iniesta said he had full confidence in the duo and the rest of the players.

“They’re young, but they’re first-team players, important and with a lot of responsibility. They have an opportunity to give their best,” Barca great Iniesta, who now plays for Japan’s Vissel Kobe, said.

“It’s a challenge they’re passionate about and they’re aware of being able to do well … Personally, I love this team and I love the group that the coach has put together.”

Iniesta, who scored the winning goal that gave Spain its only World Cup title, wants to see it go all the way again.

“I hope and wish that the winners of the World Cup will be Spain,” Iniesta said. “My prediction is always ambitious.”

Spain faces Costa Rica in its opener on Wednesday before matches against Germany and Japan in Group E.

– Reuters

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