In photos: World Cup opening ceremony in Qatar
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.
- The opening ceremony took place at Al Bayt Stadium in front of 60,000 fans, with appearances from American actor Morgan Freeman, Lebanese singer Myriam Fares, and Jungkook of Korean pop boy band BTS.
- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), FIFA President Gianni Infantino, and the emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, watched the ceremony from the stands, per the New York Times.
- President Biden tweeted a video of a phone call he had with the U.S. men's national soccer team on Sunday, in which he encouraged the players, telling them, "the whole country is rooting for you."
- "Go get 'em guys, just play your hearts out," Biden added.