As we countdown to the 2022 FIFA World Cup which will be held in Qatar, here are the details of the opening ceremony of the most unique World Cup in recent history.
The Qatar 2022 World Cup
It is not news that Qatar is the third member nation ever of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to host the World Cup. But following the co-hosting of the 2002 FIFA World Cup by South Korea and Japan, Qatar 2022 will be the second AFC World Cup ever. In unique fashion though, it would be the first time the global showpiece will be played in the Middle East.
It is also not news that it is the first World Cup that will not be held in the summer, and this is due to the weather of the Gulf nation being too hot for football.
It will be held in and around the city of Doha, Qatar’s capital in eight specially built stadiums: Lusail Stadium (80,000 capacity), Al Janoub Stadium (40,000 capacity), Al Bayt Stadium (60,000 capacity), Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium (40,000 capacity), Education City Stadium (40,000 capacity), Khalifa International Stadium (45,000 capacity), Al Thumama Stadium (40,000 capacity), and Stadium 974 (40,000 capacity).
The opening ceremony
Not much has been reported about the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Cup yet, but one thing we now know is that there will be a change in tradition on that day.
Since the inception of the World Cup 21 editions ago, the hosts have played the opening match to welcome every participant to their country. Qatar, however, will be breaking this tradition come November 21.
This will make them the second hosts to sit out the opening game of the World Cup after their AFC counterparts South Korea and Japan did it 20 years ago in the 2002 World Cup. In that edition, France and Senegal opened the World Cup, before hosts Japan and South Korea faced their opponents a few days later.
In Qatar’s case, the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is reported to have special plans for the opening ceremony. This will see Senegal – like they did 20 years ago – open the World Cup with Netherlands, before Qatar face Ecuador in the evening of November 21 when the Emir’s planned ceremony will take place.
What has been revealed about the opening ceremony?
The World Cup is scheduled to kick off in the afternoon. However, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim wants to put on a big fireworks display before his country – who are making their World Cup debut – faces Ecuador.
An afternoon kick-off would reduce the beauty of the display and as such, FIFA have agreed to push Qatar’s game until the evening of the opening day while the other teams in Group A, Senegal and the Netherlands, face off in the planned afternoon kickoff as the opening match of the 22nd World Cup.
The opening ceremony will take place at the 60,000 capacity Al Bayt Stadium, while Senegal and Netherlands will face off at Al Thumama Stadium