How to watch Qatar v Ecuador for free? World Cup opening match TV details and kick-off time

The World Cup gets underway with Qatar and Ecuador on Sunday, rather than the traditional Friday opening match.

It is the first of 64 games to be played over the next 28 days with the final taking place on December 18, the tournament having been moved from the summer due to the heat in the Gulf state. It is a tournament which has rightly attracted plenty of attention and controversy with FIFA president Gianni Infantino not helping matters with some bizarre comments.

Qatar have prepared for the tournament by winning the AFC Asian Cup in 2019, followed by a third-place finish in the FIFA Arab Cup in 2021. This is their first ever World Cup. Contrast that with Ecuador who have qualified for four of the last six editions. Their best finish was an exit at the round of 16 stage in 2006 in Germany.

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Here is all the information you need ahead of the fixture:

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Match details

Who: Qatar v Ecuador

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What: World Cup, Group A

Where: Al-Bayt Stadium, Al-Khor

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The Al-Bayt Stadium will host the World Cup opener between Qatar and Ecuador. (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

When: Sunday, November 20. Kick-off 4pm (GMT)

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Referee: Daniele Orsato (Italy)

How to watch

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The first fixture of the tournament is being shown live on BBC. It will be available to watch across BBC One, the iPlayer and the BBC website. Coverage, led by Gary Lineker, begins at 3pm.

Team news

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The two managers have a largely clean bill of health. The only player across the two squads that is a doubt is Ecuador’s midfielder Jeremy Sarmiento. The Brighton midfielder has a muscle complaint.

Last meeting

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The teams played in a friendly in 2018 in Doha, a fixture which brought seven goals, five after half-time, as Qatar ran out 4-3 winners with Ecuador having two men sent off. The South Americans 3-0 and 4-1 down before a late rally in the final 20 minutes.

Anything else?

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Of the 32 nations competing in the World Cup, Qatar have the squad with the most number of international caps combined at 1,472 with five of their players having hit the century mark. Only Belgium have more centurions in their squad with six.

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