Many Arab leaders enjoyed a Qatar World Cup opening ceremony that showcased the host nation’s Bedouin roots but Western politicians stayed away.
Qatar open World Cup with nod to heritage
Qatar’s Bedouin roots, embodied in a tent-shaped stadium, were on display on Sunday as the country’s emir opened the World Cup at a ceremony during which he kissed his father’s hand and welcomed the world to soccer’s biggest event, the first time it has been staged in the Middle East.
“From Qatar, from the Arab world, I welcome everyone to the World Cup 2022,” Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said. “How lovely it is that people can put aside what divides them to celebrate their diversity and what brings them together.”
Then, fireworks exploded from the roof of Al Bayt stadium, 44 km north of the capital, Doha.
Earlier, the nearly full stadium erupted in cheers when Sheikh Tamim arrived at the stadium flanked by FIFA president Gianni Infantino.