Glitzy opening ceremony, Valencia’s goals and all other top moments

FIFA World Cup: Glitzy opening ceremony, Jung Kook's event and Enner Valencia's goals headline Day 1

The opening day of FIFA World Cup 2022 included a glittering opening ceremony and a winning performance form Ecuador vs hosts Qatar. AP images

The start of the controversial FIFA World Cup 2022 witnessed hosts Qatar lose to Ecuador in the opening match of the tournament, on Sunday. And with that defeat, Qatar, who have spent billions on hosting the World Cup and are known for having a very poor human rights record, earned an unwanted place in football history.

Qatar have become the first host nation in the history of the football World Cup to lose its opening game as Ecuador thumped them 2-0 at the Al Bayt Stadium and in front of more than 67,000 fans.

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But before we discuss more about the game, let’s first take a look at the opening ceremony.

Qatar 2022 kicks off with glitzy event

A 30-minute glittering opening ceremony was held before the Qatar-Ecuador match and the event included Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman who was the narrator of the opening ceremony.

And one of the lasting images of the ceremony was Freeman extending one yellow-gloved hand to a FIFA World Cup ambassador suffering from a rare spinal disorder in an image meant to represent inclusion in a country facing international criticism over its human rights record.

FIFA World Cup Glitzy opening ceremony Jung Kooks event and Enner Valencias goals headline Day 1

US actor Morgan Freeman, left, talks with FIFA World Cup Ambassador Ghanim Al Muftah, at the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony. AP

The ceremony also included dancing events and BTS star Jung Kook’s performance alongside Qatari singer Fahad Al-Kubaisi. The duo sang Dreamers, the official song of FIFA World Cup 2022.

There were fireworks at the start and end of the opening ceremony. FIFA President Gianni Infantino also delivered a speech in Arabic at the ceremony to welcome everyone.

Enner Valencia and Ecuador ruin Qatar’s party

After a spectacular opening ceremony, the Qatar national squad and fans were in for a rude shock as the team suffered a 2-0 defeat in their opening game. This is the first time Qatar is playing in a World Cup.

Ecuador captain Enner Valencia was the star player of the match as he scored a brace. He also had a goal disallowed for offside.

While Valencia made the most of the occasion and gave his team a perfect start to the tournament, the Qatari players failed to handle the expectations and were outclassed on the night.

Empty seats

The defeat however wasn’t the most embarrassing story of the night for Qatar. It was the empty seats in the stadium after Ecuador took a 2-0 lead in the first half of the match. The thousands of empty seats in the stadium in the second half of the match told the real story of the World Cup that is being hosted in Qatar.

FIFA World Cup Glitzy opening ceremony Jung Kooks event and Enner Valencias goals headline Day 1

Partly empty seats are seen during the World Cup group A match between Qatar and Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium. AP

Demand for beer

A video has now emerged that showed Ecuador fans demanding beer in stadiums as their team defeated Qatar. A video on social media showed fans from Ecuador chanting “Queremos cerveza, queremos cerveza!” in the stands of the Al Bayt Stadium which means: “We want beer”.

FIFA had banned the sale of alcohol around any of the eight World Cup stadiums just two days before the showpiece event was to start. FIFA said beer will available for purchase in the fan zones.

On Day 2, we will have England and Netherlands launching their bids for the World Cup title, while USA face Wales late in the night.

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