Global News

Breaking news & current latest Canadian news headlines; national weather forecasts & predictions, local news videos, money and financial news; sports stats and scores.

FIFA World Cup 2022: Tournament kicks off with fireworks and celebrations.

Click to play video: 'FIFA World Cup: Tournament kicks off with fireworks and celebrations as Ecuador beats Qatar 2-0'

Thousands of fans from around the world flocked to the Al Bayt Stadium in the coastal city of Al Khor and the FIFA Fan Festival in Doha to watch the opening match of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Sunday. Hosts Qatar took on Ecuador, who won 2-0 with both goals coming from veteran striker Enner Valencia, in the first opening game defeat for a host nation in the tournament's history.

Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman extended one yellow-gloved hand to a FIFA World Cup ambassador suffering from a rare spinal disorder in an image meant to represent inclusion in a country facing international criticism over its human rights record.

It wasn’t the biggest moment of Sunday’s seven-act World Cup opening ceremony ahead of the match between host country Qatar and Ecuador. The largest cheers were reserved for the Mideast and African leaders watching from their luxury suites in Bedouin-tent inspired Al Bayt Stadium.

In fact, it was Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani who drew a thunderous applause in a short speech delivered in Arabic from the suite.

“We have worked hard, along with many people, to make it one of the most successful tournaments,” he said. “We have exerted all efforts and invested for the good of all humanity.”

He was seated between FIFA president Gianni Infantino and his father, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who secured the World Cup for the tiny gulf nation 12 years ago.

“How beautiful it is for people to put aside what divides them in order to celebrate their diversity and what brings them together at the same time,” Sheikh Tamim said, his words translated into English on a video screen inside the stadium.

“I wish all the participating teams a magnificent football performance, high sportsmanship, and a time full of joy, excitement and delight for you all,” he continued. “And let there be days that are inspiring with goodness and hope.”

He then said, “I welcome you and good luck to all,” in his only words spoken in English.

Sheikh Hamad, viewed as the modernizer of Qatar during his 18 years as ruler, further delighted the crowd by autographing an official World Cup shirt handed to him by his son. He then held the shirt up to the crowd.

Qatar, home to 3 million people, most of them migrant workers, has spent more than $200 billion on preparation for the World Cup. Seven new stadiums were built, including the 60,000-seat Al Bayt Stadium north of Doha.

The opening ceremony was meant to introduce Qatar to the world through its culture with a theme of “bridging distances.” Creative director Ahmad Al Baker wanted the ceremony to signify “a gathering for all mankind, an invitation to come together as one, bridging all differences with humanity, respect and inclusion.”

“Finally, we have reached the opening day, the day you have been eagerly waiting for,” Sheikh Tamim said. “We will follow, and with us the whole world, God willing, the great football festival, in this spacious ambience for human and civilized communication.

“People of different races, nationalities, faiths and orientations will gather here in Qatar, and around screens on all continents to share the same exciting moments.”

His words hit the mark as Sheikh Tamim was joined in the stadium suite by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, two leaders who had boycotted Qatar for years. Not present were the leaders of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, the two other nations involved in the boycott.

There were no major Western leaders in attendance, as Qatar is under intense scrutiny for its treatment of the migrant workers who prepped the nation for the World Cup, as well as the LGBTQ community. Gay and lesbian sex is criminalized in Qatar.

But among those who did attend the opening match were U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Senegalese President Macky Sall, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Kuwait’s crown prince came, along with the director-general of the World Health Organization and Djibouti’s president. Also present was Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

They listened as BTS’ Jung Kook, while Qatari singer and producer Fahad Al Kubaisi debuted the single “Dreamers,” produced specifically for the World Cup.

Then came remarks from Infantino, who spoke in Arabic, Spanish and finally English to officially open the tournament.

“Dear friends, welcome, welcome, to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” Infantino said in English. “Welcome to celebrate football because football unites the world. And now let’s welcome the teams and let the show begin.”

As “The Business” by Tiesto blasted over the speakers, Qatar and Ecuador took to the field and the World Cup officially began.

Qatar became the first host country to lose its opening game in 92 years of World Cup history.

Qatar is on the global stage for the first time because it is the host nation, but it couldn’t stop Ecuador captain Enner Valencia, who scored both goals in the first half.

World CupFIFAFIFA World CupQatarqatar world cupopening ceremony qatarworld cup opening ceremony

Journalistic standards Report an error

© 2022 The Canadian Press

These are font parameters, with the help of which we will be able to characterize their structure.
Останні новини

Avian flu puts pressure on producers, consumers

Outbreaks in commercial bird facilities in Canada most often occur in spring and fall when migratory birds carrying the disease come into contact with poultry.

Global News

Legal analyst predicts Pence’s next move with DOJ

Legal analyst predicts Pence’s next move with DOJ

CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Elie Honig discusses the Department of Justice's request to seek former Vice President Pence's testimony for the criminal investigations of former President Donald Trump. #CNN #News

Black Friday Rakes In Record-Breaking $9 Billion In Online Sales Alone.

Black Friday Rakes In Record-Breaking $9 Billion In Online Sales Alone.

The dash for deals continues through the holiday weekend as it kicks off to a multi-billion start. Americans showed up in big numbers in person and even broke record sales online for Black Friday. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: N...

Dave Ramsey's rules for smart holiday spending

Dave Ramsey's rules for smart holiday spending

Dave Ramsey shares his financial rules as shoppers fear inflation will sour the season on 'One Nation with Brian Kilmeade.' #foxnews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour...

Tipflation Taking Over Holiday Shopping

Tipflation Taking Over Holiday Shopping

Many shoppers may notice an unexpected expense this holiday season, tipping in surprising places. “Tipflation” is everywhere as more people pay with cards and more businesses turn to tables with pre-set tip options. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watc...

A Football Surprise From The Rivals

A Football Surprise From The Rivals

The final matchup of the season between Pennsylvania’s Coatesville High School and Avon Grove came just days before Avon Grove’s Gavin Picard was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. And just as the game ended, Gavin’s rivals from Coatesville carrie...

Family Of Missouri Death Row Inmate Asks For Clemency.

Family Of Missouri Death Row Inmate Asks For Clemency.

37-year-old Kevin Johnson is set to be executed on November 29 for the 2005 killing of a police officer in Missouri. His 19-year-old daughter is asking to be able to witness his death though the state requires viewers to be 21. KSDK’s Justina Coro...