Fifa World Cup 2022: Incredible scenes at Al Bayt Stadium ahead of the opening game between Qatar and Ecuador

Spectacular opening ceremony featuring South Korean superstar Jung Kook of BTS and Qatari singer Fahad Al-Kubaisi will kick off the world’s greatest sporting extravaganza

By Rituraj Borkakoty from Doha

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Ecuador fans outside the stadium before the match. Photo: Reuters
Ecuador fans outside the stadium before the match. Photo: Reuters

Published: Sun 20 Nov 2022, 6:03 PM

Last updated: Mon 21 Nov 2022, 4:55 PM

Ecuadorian and Qatari fans have made it a true spectacle of colours and bonhomie at the Al Bayt Stadium on the eve of the opening match of the 2022 World Cup on Sunday.

Inspired by traditional Arabian tents, Al Bayt Stadium sits magnificently in the middle of a desert.


What was as appealing was the sight of thousands of Qatari and Ecuadorian fans singing and dancing their way to the stadium. Fans started arriving as early as 2pm, five hours before the start of the match.

Andres, an Ecuadorian fan, came from Germany for his team’s first match of the tournament against the home team.


“I arrived yesterday from Germany with my brother, Fernando. So we are very excited about this match today,” Andres told the Khaleej Times.

“We have met so many fans since coming here. Now it’s great to meet the home team fans. It’s been a very nice experience in Qatar. Hopefully we will have a great game tonight. And it will be amazing if Ecuador win.”

Photo: Rituraj Borkakoty
Photo: Rituraj Borkakoty

Grand opening ceremony

Qatar take on Ecuador in the tournament opener today evening (7 pm local time). But for the 60,000 fans inside this magnificent stadium, a football match is not only the memory they will take back home.

A spectacular opening ceremony featuring South Korean superstar Jung Kook of BTS and Qatari singer Fahad Al-Kubaisi will kick off the world’s greatest sporting extravaganza.

General view inside the Al Bayt stadium before the match. Photo: Reuters
General view inside the Al Bayt stadium before the match. Photo: Reuters

Millions of people across the globe are expected to tune in for the 30-minute opening ceremony of the first World Cup in the post-Covid-19 era.

“The theme of the opening ceremony is a gathering for all mankind, bridging differences through humanity, respect and inclusion. Football allows us to come together as one tribe and the earth is the tent in which we all live,” Fifa said in a statement on Saturday.

“The seven-act programme will be led by world-class talents that interlace Qatari tradition with worldwide culture and will include tributes to the 32 competing teams, previous Fifa World Cup hosts and event volunteers.

“Along with hundreds of performers, Fifa World Cup Ambassador Ghanim Al Muftah and Qatari singer Dana will encourage dialogue on inclusion and diversity.”

The 2022 World Cup, the first in the Middle East region, will see 32 countries compete in 64 matches with the grand finale scheduled for December 18 at the Iconic Lusail Stadium.

Eight state-of-the stadiums have been built by Qatar for this World Cup and the million-plus foreign fans can travel from one stadium to another through the wonderfully-built public transport system.

All they need to show is their Hayya Card, the entry permit to Qatar for fans with match tickets, during the World Cup.

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