Thursday, December 8, 2022

FIFA World Cup 2022 kicks off in Qatar

FIFA World Cup 2022 kicked off in Qatar, on Sunday, with a grand opening ceremony at the Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor that saw international celebrities perform. The event started with American actor Morgan Freeman’s dulcet voice and an Arabian theme with camels.
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani arrived at the stadium flanked by FIFA president Gianni Infantino to a roaring crowd. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was also present at the opening ceremony and inaugural match of the tournament.
BTS singer Jung Kook stole the show at the opening ceremony with his new tournament song called ‘Dreamers’ alongside Qatari singer Fahad Al-Kubaisi while Hollywood star Morgan Freeman was equally good with his message of hope, unity and tolerance. The opening spectacle of lights, fireworks and mysticism transported the 50000-plus spectators at the Bedouin tent-shaped Al Bayt stadium into the surreal world of Arabian Nights.
Earlier, France legend Marcel Desailly presented the World Cup trophy in front of the fans.
No leaders of major Western countries were seen at the opening ceremony for the tournament, which has faced intense criticism, particularly in Europe, over its treatment of migrant laborers and the LGBTQ community.
But the presence of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi shows how far Qatar has come since the boycott that saw its sole land border and air routes cut off for years as part of a political dispute. Also on the dais with leaders was Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who provided a vital lifeline to Qatar during the crisis. Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his son attended on behalf of the UAE.
According to the reports, around 1.2 million visitors are expected to witness the FIFA world cup where 32 countries are participating in the 28-day event. Qatar – which is home to 3 million people, mostly migrant workers – has spent more than $200 billion on improvements across the country for the tournament. Among the additions are seven new purpose-built venues, including the 60,000-seat Al Bayt Stadium that hosted Sunday’s opening ceremony and the first match.
Meanwhile, host nation Qatar became the first World Cup hosts in history to lose their opening game of the tournament on Sunday, crashing to a 2-0 defeat to Ecuador as the football showpiece kicked off.

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