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 1400 GMT.
* 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.
* Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso said he would not attend his country’s high-profile opening match, citing domestic unrest.
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?
* FIFA has yet to announce a full list of performers for 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.
* Others named as possible performers at the opening ceremony include the Black Eyed Peas, Robbie Williams and Nora Fatehi, according to the Telegraph.
* In an excerpt of an interview with Italy’s Il Venerdì di Repubblica to be published next month, Williams said it would be “hypocritical” of him to not perform in Qatar.
* British singer Dua Lipa denied a report that she was set to perform. Some Spanish media reports said Shakira would also not perform.
* Singer Rod Stewart told the Times he had turned down an offer of “over $1 million” to perform in Qatar.
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.
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