Oranje vs. Senegal will be the first World Cup match; Dutch football to get 8% of match tickets
The Dutch national team will kick off the World Cup in Qatar at the end of this year. The team’s group match against Senegal was named the opening match of the tournament, instead of the match between host country Qatar and Ecuador, world football association FIFA announced.
Usually the opening game of a World Cup is played by the organizing country. After the group stage draw on Friday, FIFA determined the start times of the matches. The schedule shows that the Netherlands will open the World Cup against Senegal on Monday, November 21, at 11 a.m., and Qatar will kick off against Ecuador at 5 p.m. The opening game will be played at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, while Qatar vs. Ecuador will be played at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Ecuador will be Oranje’s second opponent on Friday, November 25, at 5 p.m. That match will be played at the Khalifa International Stadium. The third group match of the Dutch national team is on Tuesday, November 29 at 4 p.m. against Qatar in the Al Bayt Stadium.
England and the United States will also play on the opening day of the World Cup. The former will play against Iran at 2 p.m. The U.S. opponent will be the last remaining European team to qualify for the tournament. Wales, Ukraine and Scotland are competing for that spot. The group match between Germany and Spain is on Sunday, November 27 at 8 p.m.
Dutch football association to get 8% of Oranje tickets
The KNVB, the national football association of the Netherlands, expects to be able to distribute 8 percent of the available tickets for every Oranje match at the World Cup to the supporters of the Dutch national team. The Al Thumama Stadium, where the team’s first match will be held against the reigning champions of Africa, seats 40,000 spectators. Qatar and Ecuador’s match will be in front of a maximum of 60,000 people. The Khalifa International Stadium also holds 45,000.
The Al Thumama Stadium is located south of Doha, close to Hamad International Airport. The football facility is shaped like a gahfiya, a traditional cap worn by men in the Middle East. After the World Cup, the stadium's capacity will be halved to 20,000.
The Khalifa International Stadium in Doha is the only World Cup stadium not built specifically for the global finals. It has been renovated several times since 1976. Liverpool and Flamengo played the final in a club team tournament there in 2019.
The Al-Bayt Stadium is located in Al Khor, on the north coast of Qatar, about 35 kilometers from the capital, Doha. The stadium is shaped like a Bedouin tent. Al Khor is not connected to the brand new metro network.
World football association FIFA announced last week that more than 800,000 tickets for the World Cup have already been sold. The next sales round will start on April 5. The most loyal fans of Oranje in recent years are given priority by the KNVB in the card distribution.
Reporting by ANP