GENEVA (AP) — World Cup teams Ghana and Switzerland took advantage of their late start to the tournament in Qatar to play each other in a friendly in the United Arab Emirates.
The Swiss Football Federation announced on Monday that the game will be played in Abu Dhabi on November 17 – a week before the first World Cup group matches. The tournament starts on November 20, but Switzerland will open on November 24 in Group G against Cameroon, a West African team like Ghana. The group also includes Brazil and Serbia.
Ghana are in Group H and will also start on November 24 against Portugal. Ghana also play South Korea and Uruguay.
With most European clubs playing domestic championship games until the weekend of November 12-13, many World Cup players will join their national teams just a week before the tournament. World Cup rules do not allow teams to play less than five days before the first game.
World Cup teams usually have more time to prepare, but this tournament is squeezed into the domestic seasons in November and December to avoid the scorching heat of Qatar’s desert in June and July.
The World Cup was supposed to start on November 21, but organizers decided this month lift for one day in Qatar’s opening game against Ecuador.
Serbia’s football federation announced last week that its team will play a friendly in Bahrain on November 18 before traveling to neighboring Qatar.
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