Opening ceremony gets World Cup underway

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Opening ceremony gets World Cup underway

Opening ceremony gets World Cup underway

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2022

THE NATION

The World Cup kicked off in Qatar on Sunday (November 20) with the Muslim nation, which faced a barrage of criticism over its treatment of foreign workers, LGBT rights and social restrictions, staking its reputation on delivering a smooth tournament.

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani arrived at the stadium flanked by FIFA president Gianni Infantino, to a roaring crowd, and took their seats alongside other Arab leaders.
 

A show then unfolded on the pitch, featuring American actor Morgan Freeman and a performance of a new tournament song called Dreamers featuring singer Jungkook of K-pop boy band BTS, alongside Qatari singer Fahad Al-Kubaisi.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and the presidents of Egypt, Turkey and Algeria, as well as the United Nations Secretary-General, are among leaders at the in a tent-shaped stadium ahead of the first match between the hosts and Ecuador.

General view outside the stadium with fireworks during the opening ceremonyGeneral view outside the stadium with fireworks during the opening ceremony
 

Qatar, which has denied accusations of abuse of workers and discrimination, and FIFA hope the spotlight will now turn to action on the pitch. Organisers have also denied allegations of bribery for hosting rights.

Inside Al Bayt Stadium many seats were still vacant with gridlock on the expressway leading to the arena, where cheers went up as Qatar’s team appeared for their opening match.

The soccer tournament, the first held in the Middle East and the most expensive in its history, is a culmination of Qatar’s soft power push, after a 3-1/2 year boycott by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain which ended in 2021.

 General view during the opening ceremony General view during the opening ceremonyOpening ceremony gets World Cup underwayOpening ceremony gets World Cup underwayOpening ceremony gets World Cup underway

THE NATION

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