Cover The FIFA World Cup 2022's opening ceremony took place in the Al-Bayt stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, which was built just for the tournament. (Photo: @fifaworldcup/Instagram)

From BTS' Jungkook's highly-anticipated performance to iconic football chants, here are some of the best moments from the tournament's opening ceremony on November 20

The Qatar edition of the World Cup kicked off on November 20 at the Al Bayt Stadium, which was specifically designed to resemble a traditional Bedouin tent. Hundreds of performers graced the stage as the 32 teams and the world looked on.

However, one demographic was noticeably missing from the broadcast: BBC and its wide British audience. The 30-minute ceremony was given a miss by British broadcasting giant, which aired an interview with Amnesty International highlighting the carbon footprint, breach of human rights, and other issues incurred by this event.

The over-the-top ceremony was preceded by the World Cup's first match between host nation, Qatar, and Ecuador. The latter won 2-0. 

Read more: World Cup Qatar 2022: 5 Asian Players to Watch

Here are the highlights from the opening ceremony:

BTS' Jungkook debuted new single

One-seventh of the K-pop superstars BTS made an appearance performing his new single Dreamers, which is his contribution to the Fifa World Cup 2022 soundtrack. Jeon Jungkook, who is BTS' youngest member, wowed the crowd with his incredible stage presence and enthusiasm for performing.

This is the first time a Korean celebrity has performed on the World Cup stage. Qatari singer Fahad Al-Kubaisi also accompanied him during the performance.

Read more: 7 Luxury Watches Loved by BTS Members

Morgan Freeman as the host

In an unexpected and controversial collaboration, American actor Morgan Freeman was the host of the ceremony. Earlier this year, several women accused Freeman of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour on set, which only sparked greater uproar over his appearance here.

His speech called for unity in diversity: "What unites us here in this moment is so much greater than what divides us. How can we make it last longer than just today?"

Marcel Desailly presented the World Cup trophy

In line with the tournament's tradition of having a former player from the defending champion nation present the trophy, French football legend Marcel Desailly brought the Fifa World Cup trophy into the stadium. 

Read more: 5 Things to Know About Karim Benzema, Winner of the 2022 Ballon d'Or

A spectacular display of fireworks

The Qatari night sky was alight with spectacular fireworks. As hundreds of performers sang iconic football chants and the mascots of past World Cups flew across the centre stage, the background and sky were brought to life with a striking show of lights and theatrics.

Ecuador defeated Qatar in opening match

Following the opening ceremony, the Ecuadorian and Qatari squads took to the pitch to kick off the tournament as the first of 64 games. Ecuadorian captain and forward Enner Valencia netted the tournament's first goal. He also went on to score the side's second goal before the game ended with a score of 2-0 in favour of the South American nation. 


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