World Cup 2022 opening ceremony LIVE: Qatar ready to raise curtain on football’s greatest show


Beer ban to be enforced

The sale of alcohol to fans at World Cup stadiums in Qatar has been banned with just two days to go until the tournament kicks off.

Fans at matches will no longer be able to buy Budweiser, which would have been the only alcoholic beverage available to fans due to its sponsorship of FIFA.

Now no one attending games will be able to consume alcohol within the stadium perimeter, with the exception of corporate spectators.

Supporters will still be able to consume alcohol in designated fan zones.

Why the Qatar World Cup is a betrayal of everything Jules Rimet stood for

A century has passed since the World Cup’s founding father, Jules Rimet, assumed Fifa’s presidency and began setting the wheels in motion for the first tournament in 1930. Even a visionary like Rimet would have struggled to imagine the immense success and global pull that the tournament would command a hundred years later, but it is not hard to guess what he would have thought about the 22nd World Cup in Qatar.

Rimet came from humble beginnings as the son of a grocer in a tiny village in eastern France, and he climbed the class ladder by winning a scholarship to law school. His beliefs were simple: that football should be global and inclusive, fair and respectful. In a small Parisian cafe, he co-founded a sports club called Red Star based on those principles of cooperation and equality. Red Star were rare in that they did not discriminate based on social status and included working-class players, and their football team still cherishes those roots closely today.

As a devout Catholic, Rimet was inspired by Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, a letter issued in the aftermath of the industrial revolution, which set out the principles of basic workers’ rights. It was in part a doctrine against exploitation and one that resonates as strongly with 1920s France as it does the 2022 World Cup; what is exploitation if not the transformation of workers’ sweat and blood into someone else’s wealth or power? The World Cup’s origins started from a man who fought against class structure, and a century later the tournament kicks off in one of the most structured, racially divided class systems in the world, where many thousands of south Asian labourers are at the bottom of a brutally unequal society run by a few unfathomably rich sheikhs.

Why the Qatar World Cup is a betrayal of everything Jules Rimet stood for

The World Cup’s founding father stood up for the working class and saw football as a place for equality to thrive

Sportswashing and spectacle as Qatar’s World Cup of conflicts kicks off

As Lionel Messi and the Argentine squad arrived in Qatar this week, driving through a £220bn infrastructure project built on “modern slavery”, there was unmistakable excitement. The players can’t quite believe the World Cup is suddenly here again. “Another chance” at victory and immortality. It was much the same in the England camp, where the 14 players who have never been to the competition were almost just saying to each other: “It’s the World Cup!”

And one like no other, for reasons far beyond the fact that it is starting in November.

The disrupted calendar has at once made this World Cup one that has suddenly come out of nowhere and yet also weighed over the game for more than a decade. It is a mere week’s preparation that goes back 12 years.

Sportswashing and spectacle as Qatar’s World Cup of conflicts kicks off

The greatest show on Earth will take place against a background of human suffering that cannot be ignored

Moises Caicedo: Ecuador’s Brighton star letting his football do the talking

Ecuador midfielder Moises Caicedo will have just turned 21 when he lines up against Qatar in the World Cup opener, but he is already an experienced lynchpin of the national side and is turning heads in the best league in the world.

Part of Ecuador’s successful generation change, Caicedo became a commanding midfield presence during their arduous, two-year South American qualifying campaign.

Able to drive forward and create chances for others, Caicedo also netted two goals himself for “La Tri” in those qualifiers and has become a box-to-box player, helping out the defence when necessary due to his impressive fitness and work rate.

“He’s getting better and better,” enthused his Argentine manager Gustavo Alfaro.

Ecuador’s Brighton star Moises Caicedo letting his football do the talking

Part of Ecuador’s successful generation change, Caicedo became a commanding midfield presence during their arduous, two-year South American qualifying campaign

Akram Afif: The assist king at the heart of host country’s chances in Qatar

Qatar’s main playmaker Akram Afif is perhaps the World Cup host country’s greatest asset and worry wrapped up in one.

The 25-year-old striker, crowned Asia’s player of the year in 2019 and more famous for setting up goals than scoring them, has become essential to the Gulf Arab state’s soccer success.

“Always, when he is there, he finds solutions for the team. Without him it would be a big problem,” said former Qatari forward Mohamed Mubarak al-Mohannadi.

During the Asia Cup tournament in 2019, which Qatar won, Afif’s assists supplied most of the nine record-setting goals Almoaz Ali scored.

Assist king Akram Afif at the heart of host country’s chances in Qatar

During the Asia Cup tournament in 2019, which Qatar won, Afif’s assists supplied most of the nine record-setting goals Almoaz Ali scored

Ecuador World Cup squad 2022 guide: Players, fixtures, odds and more

Ecuador did not just earn their qualification for the World Cup once. They did so twice: first on the pitch by claiming a surprise automatic berth in the dogfight of the South America qualifiers, and then again in the courtroom as they saw off a legal challenge from Chile, who contested the birth status of the right back Byron Castillo. At least, so we think: Chile have taken their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport where it remained with less than a month to go until the World Cup.

The whole affair has rather clouded what was an impressive qualifying campaign from Ecuador, and created significant uncertainty for La Tri. Chile, who along with Colombia looked on in envy as Ecuador joined Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in the top four, insisted that Castillo, the right back who played in eight qualification games, was actually Colombian and was not eligible to play in eight of Ecuador’s group games.

In any case, Ecuador qualified for the World Cup when, on paper, they should have stood no chance. According to the Fifa rankings, they were the second lowest ranked side of the 10 South American countries when their campaign began. Led by the Argentine manager Gustavo Alfaro, they took points off both Brazil and Argentina at home, thrashed Colombia 6-1 and beat Chile in Santiago to take a huge step towards Qatar – even if the biggest battle they had to win came after the World Cup draw was made in April and in the courtrooms.

Here is everything you need to know:

Ecuador World Cup squad 2022 guide: Players, fixtures, odds and more

La Tri were underdogs in qualifying but their biggest battle to reach for Qatar came after the World Cup draw was made in April

Qatar World Cup squad 2022 guide: Players, odds, fixtures and more

Amid the scrutiny of Qatar over their human rights record, the treatment of migrant workers and its oppresssive LGBTQ+ laws, its football team has quietly flown under the radar ahead of the most controversial World Cup in history. That will not be the case for much longer, as Qatar faces up to the reality of becoming the first country to make its debut at a World Cup as hosts, and following 12 years of preparation for the very moment of opening the tournament against Ecuador.

Has the host country of the World Cup ever had more attention, while receiving so little for its team? Perhaps Russia four years ago also came into the World Cup with more of a focus on off-field concerns, only to surprise everyone by reaching the quarter-finals. Qatar, meanwhile, cannot possibly begin to imagine such a tournament. For the country ranked 50th in the world, a single victory in Group A would constitute a success, even an entirely sports-washed one.

Here is everything you need to know:

Qatar World Cup squad 2022 guide: Players, odds, fixtures and more

Has the host country ever had more attention, while receiving so little for its team? But there will be no hiding as the World Cup begins

World Cup 2022: Female referees to officiate men's tournament for first time

Female referees will make history at the World Cup 2022 in Qatar as the first women to officiate the men’s tournament.

Salima Mukansanga, from Rwanda, Yamashita Yoshimi, from Japan, and Stephanie Frappart, from France – along with three female assistant referees – have been chosen among 36 referees.

“I would hope that in the future, the selection of elite women’s match officials for important men’s competitions will be perceived as something normal and no longer as sensational.” Fifa’s referees committee chairman Pierluigi Collina said.

Who will be performing at the opening ceremony?

FIFA are yet to announce a full list of performers for the 2022 World Cup opening ceremony but South Korea’s BTS said Jungkook, one of seven members of the boy band, will perform at the ceremony.

Other names reported to be involved in the opening ceremony include Colombian pop star Shakira, who sang the 2010 World Cup’s official song, the Black Eyed Peas, Robbie Williams and Nora Fatehi, according to The Telegraph.

British singer Dua Lipa denied a report that she was set to perform at the ceremony, while singer Rod Stewart told The Times he had turned down an offer of “over $1 million” to perform in Qatar.

Where will the opening ceremony take place?

The opening ceremony will be held at the 60,000-capacity Al Bayt Stadium located 40km north of Doha.

Named and designed after the tents used by nomads in the Gulf, the Al Bayt Stadium is the farthest venue from central Doha but also one of the biggest and has a retractable roof.

https://bigsportsnews.com/soccer/no-controversy-in-portugal-squad-after-ronaldo-interview-says-neves/

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