Actor Morgan Freeman features at World Cup opening ceremony, BTS star performs Dreamers song, while Gianni Infantino gives brief speech ahead of Qatar vs Ecuador

    Just shy of 12 years on from when Qatar won the World Cup bid, the much talked about tournament is finally here.

    The football started with the host nation taking on Ecuador but before the action at the Al-Bayt Stadium got under way fans were treated to the tournament’s opening ceremony.

    A number of dances ran onto the pitch at the start of the show

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    A number of dances ran onto the pitch at the start of the show

    South Korean singer Jung Kook performed the World Cup song Dreamers

    AFP

    South Korean singer Jung Kook performed the World Cup song Dreamers

    As was Hollywood actor Freeman

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    As was Hollywood actor Freeman

    It started with actor Morgan Freeman narrating the events opening segment, titled ‘The Calling’.

    Freeman said: “We all gather here in one big tribe’ as fans descended on Doha city centre for the imminent kick off of the world’s greatest football festival.”

    Qatari interpreter Ghanim al Muftah said: “We sent out the call because everyone is welcome. This is an invitation to the whole world.”

    Freeman replied: “I remember, even after hearing the call, instead of seeing another way, we dismissed it and demanded our own way. And now the world feels even more distant and divided.”

    Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani arrived at the stadium alongside FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

    A show then unfolded on the pitch, which featured three camels, Freeman, as well as performance of a new tournament song called Dreamers featuring singer Jungkook of K-pop boy band BTS, flanked by Qatari singer Fahad Al-Kubaisi.

    The camels were involved in the opening ceremony

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    The camels were involved in the opening ceremony

    Qatar’s mascot La’eeb played a big part in the show

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    Qatar’s mascot La’eeb played a big part in the show

    There was a throwback to mascots of old with Footix from France ’98 making an appearance

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    There was a throwback to mascots of old with Footix from France ’98 making an appearance

    Freeman then took to the stage

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    Freeman then took to the stage

    The BTS star then performed with Qatari performer Al Kubaisi

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    The BTS star then performed with Qatari performer Al Kubaisi

    It was a colourful show inside the Al-Bayt Stadium

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    It was a colourful show inside the Al-Bayt Stadium

    It was some spectacle inside

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    It was some spectacle inside

    And outside the stadium

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    And outside the stadium

    Infantino was seen arriving with the Emir of Qatar

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    Infantino was seen arriving with the Emir of Qatar

    Infantino’s brief speech wasn’t on the running order

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    Infantino’s brief speech wasn’t on the running order

    Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, the presidents of Egypt, Turkey, Algeria and the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres are among the leaders in the tournament’s opening match.

    Shortly before both sets of players took to the pitch Infantino, who made the headlines for a bizarre monologue at a press conference on Saturday, addressing everyone in attendance.

    He said: “Welcome to the World Cup in Qatar, 2022. Football unites the world. And now, let’s welcome the teams and let the show begin!”

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