AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — The World Cup began in Qatar 12 years after the tiny gulf nation secured the rights.
The moment was celebrated in a 30-minute, seven-act opening ceremony ahead of the match between Qatar and Ecuador.
Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman and BTS vocalist Jung Kook were the slated stars of the show but the crowd was most favorable of the Middle Eastern leaders in attendance.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani drew a rousing applause when he delivered a message of inclusion in a brief speech given in Arabic.
His father was also celebrated in a demonstrative autographing of an official World Cup shirt.