The opening ceremony of the World Cup will take place on Sunday, prior to the opening match between hosts Qatar and Ecuador in Group A. The event is set to start at 14:40 GMT and is anticipated to last thirty minutes. The Qatar vs. Ecuador match begins at 16:00 (GMT+2) (7.00 p.m. local time).
The initial plan called for the opening ceremony to be conducted before Qatar’s first game on Monday, which would have resulted in the uncommon circumstance of two games being played prior to it. The opening match for Qatar was subsequently moved forward by a day.
The opening ceremony will take place in the Al Bayt Stadium, 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Doha. The Al Bayt Stadium, named for and modeled like the tents used by Gulf nomads, is the arena farthest from Doha’s city center and one of the largest with a retractable roof.
One of the seven members of the boy band BTS from South Korea, Jungkook, will perform “Dreamers” at the ceremony. Fahad Al-Kubaisi and Dana, both from Qatar, will also perform during the opening ceremony.
According to FIFA, the ceremony will include tributes to the 32 competing teams, prior FIFA World Cup hosts, and event volunteers. The British artist Dua Lipa disputed a suggestion that she would perform, while Spanish media claimed that the Colombian music icon Shakira would not either. Singer Rod Stewart told the Times that he had previously rejected down an offer of “more than $1 million” to play in Qatar.
In just a few hours, the first World Cup match to be played in the Gulf Region will begin, with host nation Qatar facing Ecuador at 7pm (16:00 GMT).
The game and opening ceremony will take place in the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Qatar’s capital, Doha. Once ranked 113th in the world, Qatar’s national team, nicknamed the Maroons, has risen to 50th in the Global rankings thanks to a spate of recent victories, including an unexpected first-ever Asian Cup victory in 2019.
The 44th-ranked Ecuador are one of the youngest teams in the competition and are coming off an outstanding qualification campaign in which they finished fourth behind Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay with only one home defeat.