Nov 20, 2022 - World

In photos: World Cup opening ceremony in Qatar

World Cup opening ceremony

The opening ceremony at Al Bayt Stadium on Nov. 20, in Al Khor, Qatar. Photo: Pablo Morano/BSR Agency/Getty Images

The World Cup kicked off in Qatar on Sunday with an elaborate opening ceremony ahead of the inaugural match between Qatar and Ecuador.

Driving the news: This is the first World Cup to take place in the Middle East, but host country Qatar has been repeatedly criticized for its human rights record and the environmental costs of holding the tournament in the region.

In photos

A general view of the opening ceremony
A general view of the opening ceremony as dancers and a giant Qatar 2022 logo are seen ahead of the opening match at Al Bayt Stadium on Nov. 20 in Al Khor, Qatar. Photo: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images
A general view of the opening ceremony during the FIFA World Cup Qatar
The opening ceremony as a giant mascot Laeeb floats during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at Al Bayt Stadium on Nov. 20 in Al Khor, Qatar. Photo: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images
Fireworks explode during the opening ceremony prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Fireworks explode during the opening ceremony at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on Nov. 20 in Al Khor, Qatar. Photo: Adam Pretty - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
Morgan Freeman performs during the opening ceremony at the FIFA World Cup Qatar
Morgan Freeman performs during the opening ceremony at the FIFA World Cup Qatar. Photo: Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
Jung Kook of BTS performs with Fahad Al Kubaisi during the World Cup opening ceremony
Jungkook of BTS performs with Fahad Al Kubaisi during the World Cup opening ceremony. Photo: Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
World Cup first match
Abdelkarim Hassan of Qatar challenges Gonzalo Plata of Ecuador during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group A match between Qatar and Ecuador on Nov. 20. Photo: Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images
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