Organization wants to "mix Qatari tradition with universal culture" at the opening ceremony of the World Cup

© BELGA

The World Cup kicks off on Sunday, at 5 p.m. Belgian time, with the match between Qatar and Ecuador. Before that, there is an opening ceremony “reminiscent of that of the Olympic Games”. The organizers announced this in advance. The match between Qatar and Ecuador will be played at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, whose architecture is reminiscent of a Bedouin tent, the tents traditionally used by the nomadic people of Qatar and the Gulf region.

Source: BELGA

The purpose of the ceremony is to mix Qatari tradition with a universal culture. Jungkook, one of the seven members of the popular South Korean pop group BTS, is the headliner. Together with the Qatari singer Fahad Al-Kubaisi, he will perform ‘Dreamers’, one of the anthems of the first World Cup on Arab soil. Dua Lipa was also planned, but canceled last week. “I will not travel to Qatar until the country will comply with all human rights obligations,” the British singer said. Rod Stewart also previously declined to perform.

The opening ceremony will consist of seven acts and will last half an hour in total. In the ceremony, the organizers want to pay tribute to the 32 participating countries, the World Cup organizers from the past and the volunteers of the event.

In addition to the Qatari Emir Cheikh Tamim ben Hamad Al-Thani, who will give a short speech, the Saudi Prince Mohammed ben Salmane and the presidents of Palestine (Mahmoud Abbas), Algeria (Abdelmajid Tebboune), Rwanda (Paul Kagame) and Liberia will also be present. (former top football player George Weah) attend the opening match. So are Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, and Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor is located about fifty kilometers from the capital Doha and was inaugurated on November 30, 2021. The stadium has a capacity of 60,000 seats.

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