The opening of the Qatar World Cup was remarkable, with performances by celebrities such as actor Morgan Freeman in a breathtaking Opening Ceremony.
In the tournament’s opening game versus Ecuador, the hosts compete in their first-ever World Cup game. However, the festivities got underway early at the Al Bayt Stadium, where K-pop superstars BTS’ Jungkook gave the main musical performance, releasing his new solo single Dreamers alongside Qatari artist Fahad Al-Kubaisi.
Freeman, an American actor, made an unexpected appearance on stage with Ghanim al-Muftah, a Qatari YouTube celebrity who read from the Quran.
Freeman’s participation was even more unexpected because he had been a crucial spokesman for the USA’s quest to host the 2022 World Cup before Qatar was awarded the hosting rights.
The message of togetherness that Freeman spoke of was, “What unites us here and now is so much greater than what divides us. How can we do that?
After all the difficulties, accusations, and uncertainties, here was Qatar’s chance to greet the world and make its case to a huge global audience.
The Al-Bayt stadium offers an incredible backdrop for the start of the most contentious World Cup in history, despite its remote position in the heart of a desolate desert wasteland. It’s simple to understand why it was chosen; it is made to resemble a massive Bedouin tent, the dwelling place of nomads in the area, in both shape and colour. It is a marvel of architecture.
The interior is equally appealing. Behind one of the goals, where the Ecuadorian supporters had gathered, was a sea of maroon white with a sizable dash of yellow.
Opening ceremonies sometimes seem like a pointless diversion before the big event, but this seemed unique and significant. The Qataris could not afford to make a mistake after what had already happened.
It seemed like a genuine victory to get Morgan Freeman to narrate the performance live in the stadium. The incorporation of mascots and songs from previous World Cups was a lovely touch, and the blend of traditional and modern components was flawless.
Young people cheered loudest when K-pop superstar Jung Kook of South Korea appeared and waved to the throng, but the emir of Qatar received the loudest applause.
Here is the list of attendees:
King Abdullah II bin Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria Abdelmadjid Tebboune
President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas
President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Representative of the Emir of the State of Kuwait Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah
Crown Prince of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Hussein bin Abdullah II
Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of the Sultanate of Oman and Representative of the Sultan of Oman Theyazin bin Haitham Al Said
Caretaker Prime Minister of the Republic of Lebanon Najib Mikati
President of the Republic of Senegal Macky Sall
President of the Republic of Rwanda Paul Kagame
President of the Republic of Liberia George Weah
Vice President of the Republic of Ecuador Alfredo Borrero
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach
An aide to the President of the Russian Federation Igor Levitin
Vice President of the Republic of India Jagdeep Dhankhar
Vice President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Delcy Eloina Rodriguez
FIFA President Gianni Infantino