Acceptance, hope and unity among peoples: Qatar celebrates these values on the world stage
The FIFA World Cup, Qatar 2022 was a unique event that became a milestone in the history of world football. An event that changed the image of a country on the global stage by telling a contemporary story of openness and acceptance.
“It is good for people to put aside what divides them and bring together what unites them. We hope that these days will inspire goodness and hope. Welcome, and good luck to all”. These are the words spoken by the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who kicked off the World Cup and obtained this event with his brother, His Highness Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Both believed from the beginning in the importance of putting sport and its values at the centre of the country’s development.
The Qatari World Cup had many firsts. First in the Middle East and in an Arab country. First that kicks off in November. First modern edition based around a single city. First to have three female referees. First with a 30-minute opening Ceremony seen simultaneously in more than 170 countries.
The Ceremony took place in the iconic Al Bayt Stadium, a modern structure that can accommodate up to 60,000 people and whose shape resembles a Bedouin tent.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 Organizing Committee – the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, and its subsidiary “Qatar 2022” led by CEO Nasser Al-Khater – chose Balich Wonder Studio to conceive, implement and produce the Ceremonies. Marco Balich, the creative guide of this project with the support of Creative Director, Anghela Alò, collaborated with Katara Studios and the well-known artist Ahmed Al-Baker as co-artistic director.
The show was highlighted by an exciting film about the beauties of Qatar, followed by a dialogue between actor Morgan Freeman and Ghanim Al-Muftah, a young Qatari man suffering from a disease that has prevented him from growing lower limbs, and an unexpected flying mascot of the tournament.
The show also featured performances by international and local talents, including K-pop singer Jungkook of the South Korean superband BTS and Qatari singer Fahad Al Kubaisi.