Here’s what you need to know about the opening ceremony of the Nov. 20-Dec. 18 World Cup in Qatar:
WHEN WILL THE OPENING CEREMONY TAKE PLACE?
* The opening ceremony of the World Cup will take place on Sunday, before the opening Group A match between hosts Qatar and Ecuador.
* The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 1440 GMT (1740 local time) and is expected to run for 30 minutes. Qatar’s match against Ecuador kicks off at 1600 GMT (7.00 p.m. local time).
* The original plan was for the opening ceremony to be held before Qatar’s first game on Monday, which would have created the unusual situation of two games being held before it. Qatar’s opening match was then brought forward by a day.
WHERE WILL THE OPENING CEREMONY TAKE PLACE?
* The opening ceremony will be at the 60,000-capacity Al Bayt Stadium, 40 km (25 miles) north of Doha.
* Named and designed after the tents used by nomads in the Gulf, the Al Bayt Stadium is the furthest venue from central Doha but also one of the biggest and it has a retractable roof.
WHO WILL BE PERFORMING AT THE OPENING CEREMONY?
* South Korea’s BTS said Jungkook, one of seven members of the boy band, would perform a track titled “Dreamers” at the ceremony.
* Qatari singers Fahad Al-Kubaisi and Dana will also perform at the opening ceremony.
* FIFA said the ceremony “will include tributes to the 32 competing teams, previous FIFA World Cup hosts and event volunteers.”
* British singer Dua Lipa denied a report that she was set to perform, while Spanish media reports said Colombian pop star Shakira would also not perform.
* Singer Rod Stewart told the Times he had previously turned down an offer of “over $1 million” to perform in Qatar.
WHO WILL ATTEND THE OPENING CEREMONY?
* Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso said he would not attend his country’s high-profile opening match, citing domestic unrest.
* Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Doha late on Saturday to attend the Sunday’s opening ceremony.
* Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will head to Qatar to attend the opening ceremony, the state TV quoted the presidency as saying on Sunday.
WHO PERFORMED AT THE 2018 OPENING CEREMONY?
* The 2018 World Cup in Russia kicked off with a ceremony in Moscow headlined by British pop star Williams and Russian soprano Aida Garifullina.
* Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino gave speeches at that opening ceremony.