DOHA: After years of preparations, the much-anticipated premier football tournament finally opened tonight with a spectacular opening ceremony, followed by the ‘opening’ match between the host team, Qatar against Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Morgan Freeman started the opening ceremony of the 22nd edition of the World Cup in front of the country’s royal family and dignitaries.
The veteran actor narrated the show’s opening segment titled ‘The Calling’, telling viewers that ‘we are gathered here in a big group’.
A member of the famous South Korean pop group, BTS, Jung Kook also performed in front of thousands of spectators.
The hosts, making their World Cup debut, started their historic match shakily, and were punished by an early goal from Ecuador captain Enner Valencia as early as the third minute.
They were fortunate that the goal was ruled out by the video assistant referee (VAR) for offside, but in the 17th minute, Valencia made sure their team were in the lead when they converted a penalty.
A total of 32 teams are fighting from today until December 18 to grab the trophy that the world’s best soccer players are chasing.
Brazil, who holds the record as a five-time champion, is the main favorite to seize the championship with Argentina. – AGENCIES
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