The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has begun.  Photo: AFP/JUAN MABROMATA

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has begun. Photo: AFP/JUAN MABROMATA

Host Qatar and FIFA opened the 2022 World Cup with a colorful and bright show. We have the pictures.

The controversial football World Cup in Qatar opened with a pompous celebration, Hollywood flair and lots of Arabic elements. Before the eyes of Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who took a seat between the two, Oscar winner Morgan Freeman and around 800 dancers and extras from all over the world delivered at the Al -Bayt Stadium in Al-Khor exactly the spectacular show that the world association expects from this World Cup.

Junk Kook from the South Korean pop group BTS, who was able to present his song Dreamers on what is probably the world’s largest stage, provided the singing immediately before Qatar’s opening game against Ecuador (5 p.m. CET/ZDF and MagentaTV). He was accompanied by the Qatari singer Fahad Al-Kubaisi. FIFA had probably previously tried to attract European top stars, but Dua Lipa provisionally waved it off, Rod Stewart also gave the makers a refusal.

The guests in the grandstand next to Infantino were in a great mood

The guests in the grandstand next to Infantino were still in a good mood. Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani signed Qatar’s oldest national jersey and handed it to his father Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, after which he first spoke his words of welcome in Arabic and then at 17.09 local time addressed a “Welcome to the World” to the fans. Infantino, who had given a highly bizarre press conference the day before, this time enjoyed himself in silence.

Shortly afterwards, fireworks lit up the already dark sky in the desert north of Doha. The Al-Bayt is one of only eight World Cup stadiums. It was specially built for the finals, seats 60,000 fans and is modeled on a Bedouin tent. The German team plays here against Spain and Costa Rica.

Qatar has been heavily criticized for human rights violations since the award in 2010, which was accompanied by allegations of corruption. After the tournament was moved to winter, the focus was on the treatment of migrant workers and reports of thousands of deaths. In addition, Qatar has been criticized for the lack of rights for women and people in the LGBTQ community.

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