Qatar won the World Cup twelve years ago and has been under constant scrutiny ever since.
After a strange buildup, the controversy was finally put aside as the football took center stage.
Fans from Ecuador and Qatar mixed with others from all over the globe to dance, sing, and dance outside Al Bayt stadium. It was designed to look like a Bedouin tent.
We spoke with fans from Japan and South Korea, Argentina, Brazil as well as Denmark, South Africa, South Africa, Brazil, Denmark, South Africa, South Africa, Brazil, Brazil, Denmark, South Africa, and South Africa.
Qatar is definitely home to the world, but not in the numbers one might expect.
As you would expect from a country spending as much as $10bn for this tournament, the opening ceremony was spectacular.
Morgan Freeman, an actor, narrated a message about unity while the symbols and personalities from the Arab world were viewed by 60,000 spectators in one of seven new arenas constructed for the tournament.
Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Crown Prince, was sitting in the royal box next to Gianni Infantino (the FIFA president) and one below Qatar’s Emirate. The boycott of Qatar by the Saudi kingdom was a long-standing tradition. However, this evening the Gulf countries seemed to be friends once again.
This was a statement. Despite their dubious human rights records both countries decided to stay together, despite the global spotlight on the Middle East.
Opening games for the World Cup can be tense affairs. This time, however, it was different. Qatar was poor, and their South American rivals took advantage.
First hosts loses opening game
After VAR detected the smallest of offsides, Ecuador’s early goal was ruled out. However, Ecuador won within a quarter of an hour. The penalty spot was the first goal in the 2022 World Cup.
Ecuador had a lead of twice before half-time, and could have extended their lead further. Qatar came close to the break but they were actually slowing down.
The stadium was emptying quickly, with only 70 minutes remaining. As their team failed to maintain the score, Qatari fans fled the stadium.
Qatari organizers will be happy that football finally began, but it wasn’t what they desired.
They were also accused of being the first host to lose the opening match of a World Cup.
Qatar has had a tough build-up off the pitch. This performance might prove to be their last straw.