When is the first match of World Cup 2022? Qatar vs Ecuador date, UK time, TV channel, venue and team news

Qatar is competing on the biggest international stage for the first time in their history

<p>Qatar is competing on the biggest international stage for the first time in their history (Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty Images)</p>

Qatar is competing on the biggest international stage for the first time in their history (Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty Images)

The highly-anticipated World Cup 2022 will shortly begin. But when will the first match of the football tournament take place and how can fans watch it? Here’s what you need to know.

When is the first match of the World Cup 2022?

The first match of the 2022 World Cup takes place at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday (20 November) as hosts Qatar play against Ecuador in Group A. The referee for Qatar v Ecuador has yet to be announced.

Qatar is competing on the biggest international stage for the first time in their history, while the South American nation make their return to the World Cup finals after an eight-year absence.

The Qatari players will want to avoid becoming just the second host nation to fail to reach the knockout stages, after this happened to South Africa in 2010.

This is the Qatar’s team first appearance at a World Cup, but they do have tournament experience, being the reigning Asia Cup champions after beating South Korea in the final of the competition in 2019.

Ecuador are preparing to make their return to the tournament event after missing out on a place at Russia 2018. Ecuador have already appeared at three editions of the competition in 2002, 2006 and 2014, but have only progressed beyond the group stages once.

Qatar is competing on the biggest international stage for the first time in their history (Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty Images)

What time will it be on in the UK and how can I watch it?

Qatar v Ecuador will kick off at 4pm UK time. Qatar v Ecuador will be shown live on BBC One with live coverage from 3pm.

You can also live stream the Qatar v Ecuador game online via BBC iPlayer. The streaming platform is available on a range of devices, from desktop and laptop computers to smartphones and tablets via the app.

When will England’s first match take place?

England will open their 2022 World Cup campaign against Group B opponents Iran.

Gareth Southgate recently named his 26-man squad for the World Cup, with players allowed only just over a week to prepare for the competition following the break in Premier League action.

England’s opening game against Iran will take place on Monday 21 November. Iran have appeared in the FIFA World Cup on six occasions in their history but have never progressed from the group stage.

England vs Iran will kick off at 1pm UK time. It will be the first ever meeting between England and Iran at a World Cup.

The game will take place at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar’s capital city Doha. The Khalifa international stadium was built in 1976 and has been converted for the 2022 World Cup. The venue holds a total of around 45,000 seats and is the oldest football stadium in Qatar.

The Group B opener between England and Iran will be shown live on BBC One in the UK. You can also stream all of the action through the BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website. The game is free to watch on all these devices, providing that you have a TV licence.

Both sides are yet to name their playing XI but these are the players in the England squad competing at the World Cup:

  • Jordan Pickford
  • Kyle Walker
  • Luke Shaw
  • Declan Rice
  • John Stones
  • Harry Maguire
  • Jack Grealish
  • Jordan Henderson
  • Harry Kane
  • Raheem Sterling
  • Marcus Rashford
  • Kieran Trippier
  • Nick Pope
  • Kalvin Phillips
  • Eric Dier
  • Conor Coady
  • Bukayo Saka
  • Trent Alexander-Arnold
  • Mason Mount
  • Phil Foden
  • Ben White
  • Jude Bellingham
  • Aaron Ramsdale
  • Callum Wilson
  • James Madison
  • Conor Gallagher