Morgan Freeman and Ciao but no Pitbull: The most uncomfortable World Cup opening ceremony ever


“Who first came up with the concept of an opening ceremony to a sports tournament? It’s so normalised now that we just accept it, that the first thing we’ll see of a World Cup, Olympics or whatever is a souped-up performance-art event with dancers and a famous-ish pop star singing a confected anthem. It would now feel weird not to have one, like we’re missing out on something important somehow. Could we really enjoy a month of football without it being introduced to us by a rhythmic gymnastic demonstration and Jennifer Lopez? It’s too late now, we’ve been brainwashed. Plus, they’re essentially harmless, aren’t they? …”
The Athletic

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Ecuador beat Qatar in World Cup opener: Inspirational Valencia and Afif struggles for hosts

“Two goals from Enner Valencia gave Ecuador a comfortable 2-0 win in the opening game of the 2022 World Cup after a disappointing display from the host nation Qatar. Felix Sanchez’s side became the first hosts to lose the opening match of a World Cup, while Ecuador were able to coast to victory after dominating the first 45 minutes. …”
The Athletic
Qatar 0-2 Ecuador: Player ratings as La Tricolor win World Cup opener

The Qatar World Cup Explained

The Qatar World Cup has provoked strong and sometimes conflicting, reactions in many people. In this series of videos, written by James Montague and illustrated by Alice Devine, Tifo explains why the World Cup in the Gulf State is so controversial. The contest in Qatar is beset by controversy and human rights concerns, most notably the reported deaths of migrant workers. A staggering 90% of the population of Qatar are migrant workers. Why is this number so high? In order for Qatar to host this tournament they’ve had to build stadia, build infrastructure, build a team, and build a reputation.
YouTube

Kickoff: The World Cup By Jonathan Wilson

“The World Cup kicks off today in Qatar. To many people the entire extravaganza is one giant laundromat, a sports-wash of global proportions, designed to rinse clean the dirty laundry accumulated during the gulf state’s decade-long preparation for the event. An estimated six thousand five hundred migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka were reportedly killed during the stadiums’ construction in the last ten years. To memorialize them, the Danish team will wear subdued colors and hold black in reserve as its third strip. …”
The Paris Review