As we count down 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.
World Cup in Qatar 2022
It is not news that Qatar is the third member nation ever of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to host the World Cup. But after South Korea and Japan host the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Qatar 2022 will be the second AFC World Cup ever. Uniquely, however, it would be the first time the global showpiece is being played in the Middle East.
It is also not news that this is the first World Cup not to be held in the summer, and that is because the weather in the Golf Nation is too hot for football.
It will be held in and around the city of Doha, the capital of Qatar, in eight custom-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 yet about the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Cup, but one thing we now know is that there will be a change in tradition that day.
Since the start of the World Cup 21 editions ago, the hosts have played the opening match to welcome all participants to their country. However, Qatar will break this tradition on November 21st.
This will make them the other hosts sitting out in the opening match of the World Cup, after their AFC counterparts South Korea and Japan did it 20 years ago at the World Cup in 2002. In that edition, France and Senegal opened the World Cup before the hosts Japan and South Korea met their opponents a few days later.
In the case of Qatar, the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is reported to have special plans for the opening ceremony. This will see Senegal – as they did 20 years ago – open the World Cup with the Netherlands before Qatar meets Ecuador on the evening of November 21, when the Emir’s planned ceremony takes place.
What has been revealed about the opening ceremony?
The World Cup starts according to plan in the afternoon. However, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim wants to make a big firework before his country – which makes their World Cup debut – meets Ecuador.
An afternoon kick-off would reduce the beauty of the screen, and as such, FIFA has agreed to push Qatar’s match until the evening of the opening day, while the other teams in Group A, Senegal and the Netherlands show up in the scheduled afternoon kickoff as the opening match for the 22nd World Cup.
The opening ceremony will take place at Al Bayt Stadium with seating for 60,000, while Senegal and the Netherlands will meet at Al Thumama Stadium