Morgan Freeman was the protagonist of the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Cup
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A message of inclusion and unity, which had actor Morgan Freeman as one of the main figures, marked the opening of the 2022 football World Cup, surrounded by several controversies, which the Emir of Qatar’s speech sought to counteract.

“People of different races, nationalities and orientations are all welcome to Qatar to experience these exciting times. How beautiful it is to have people come together and not divide in order to celebrate diversity”, said Tamim bin Hamad al-Tani, in the speech which marked the closing ceremony, with FIFA President Gianni Infantino seated on his left side.

After having promised the United Nations General Assembly a World Cup “without discrimination” in September, the Emir said today that “the most awaited day has arrived” and added: “Starting today and for 28 days we will show the world the unity around football”.

“We worked to make this one of the greatest tournaments in history, we made every effort and investment for the benefit of humanity”, assured Tamim bin Hamad al-Tani, shortly before actor Morgan Freeman praised football’s power of unity.

Freeman, who at the beginning of the ceremony led a dialogue calling for inclusion with Ghanim al Muftah, a well-known activist from Qatar who suffers from caudal regression syndrome, recalled that “football unites nations and brings the world together”.

After the projection of images that tried to show that the small country that hosts the 22nd edition of the World Cup has a tradition in the sport, a well-known North American actor said: “We all have a football story, and this land has a history of its own “.

After several refusals by internationally renowned artists to participate in the ceremony, the musical animation of the color and light show was in charge of Fahad Al Kubaisi, a singer and human rights activist in Qatar.

At the Al Bayt stadium, in Al Khor, which will be the stage for the opening game between Qatar and Ecuador, for Group A, which will kick off the competition, there was still time for a tribute to the volunteers of the most controversial World Cup in history.

Outside the ceremony, which lasted about 30 minutes, the controversies remained that have motivated criticism from various government organizations and even from some of the participants in the event, including corruption, labor exploitation and disrespect for the rights of LGBTQIA+ people.

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