World Cup opening ceremony takes place in Qatar ahead of kick-off

The ceremony being held at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.

World Cup opening ceremony takes place in Qatar ahead of kick-off Getty Images

The World Cup opening ceremony has taken place in Qatar ahead of the tournament’s opening game between the hosts and Ecuador.

The ceremony held at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor kicked-off just before 3pm ahead of the first fixture an hour later.

Thirty-two of the planet’s top international teams have descended on the middle eastern country for the sport’s major tournament that is played every four years.

The mascot of the 21 previous World Cups all made an appearance as songs representing all the qualified nations played.

And a giant version of this year’s mascot La’eeb then made an appearance as it floated around the pitch.

Actor Morgan Freeman played a starring role in Sunday’s opening ceremony.

AL KHOR, QATAR - NOVEMBER 20: Morgan Freeman performs during the opening ceremony prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group A match between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)Getty Images

The American star narrated through a video showing footage of football history in Qatar before a speech from dignitaries.

He said: “Football spans the world, unites nations in their love of the beautiful game.

“What brings together nations, brings together communities.”

Jung Kook, from Korean boyband BTS then performed his latest hit Dreamers for the crowd.

Much of the World Cup, including Wales’ group opener against the USA on Monday and the final, is live on STV and the STV Player.

Everything you need to know about following Qatar 2022 from home

Lots of matches will be shown on the STV television channel and streamed on the STV Player.

Other games will be broadcast and streamed live on BBC.

Group-stage fixtures
Sunday, November 20

Qatar v Ecuador (Kick off: 4pm GMT. TV coverage: BBC)

Monday, November 21

England v Iran (1pm, BBC)

Senegal v Netherlands (4pm, STV and STV Player)

USA v Wales (7pm, STV and STV Player)

Tuesday, November 22

Argentina v Saudi Arabia (10am, STV and STV Player)

Denmark v Tunisia (1pm, STV and STV Player)

Mexico v Poland (4pm, BBC)

France v Australia (7pm, BBC)

Wednesday, November 23

Morocco v Croatia (10am, STV and STV Player)

Germany v Japan (1pm, STV and STV Player)

Spain v Costa Rica (4pm, STV and STV Player)

Belgium v Canada (7pm, BBC)

Thursday, November 24

Switzerland v Cameroon (10am, STV and STV Player)

Uruguay v South Korea (1pm, BBC)

Portugal v Ghana (4pm, STV and STV Player)

Brazil v Serbia (7pm, BBC)

Friday, November 25

Wales v Iran (10am, BBC)

Qatar v Senegal (1pm, BBC)

Netherlands v Ecuador (4pm, STV and STV Player)

England v USA (7pm, STV and STV Player)

Saturday, November 26

Tunisia v Australia (10am, BBC)

Poland v Saudi Arabia (1pm, STV and STV Player)

France v Denmark (4pm, STV and STV Player)

Argentina v Mexico (7pm, STV and STV Player)

Sunday, November 27

Japan v Costa Rica (10am, STV and STV Player)

Belgium v Morocco (1pm, BBC)

Croatia v Canada (4pm, BBC)

Spain v Germany (7pm, BBC)

Monday, November 28

Cameroon v Serbia (10am, STV and STV Player)

South Korea v Ghana (1pm, BBC)

Brazil v Switzerland (4pm, STV and STV Player)

Portugal v Uruguay (7pm, STV and STV Player)

Tuesday, November 29

Ecuador v Senegal (3pm, channel TBC and STV Player)

Netherlands v Qatar (3pm, channel TBC and STV Player)

Iran v USA (7pm, BBC)

Wales v England (7pm, BBC)

Wednesday, November 30

Australia v Denmark (3pm, BBC)

Tunisia v France (3pm, BBC)

Poland v Argentina (7pm, BBC)

Saudi Arabia v Mexico (7pm, BBC)

Thursday, December 1

Canada v Morocco (3pm, BBC)

Croatia v Belgium (3pm, BBC)

Costa Rica v Germany (7pm, channel TBC and STV Player)

Japan v Spain (7pm, channel TBC and STV Player)

Friday, December 2

Ghana v Uruguay (3pm, BBC)

South Korea v Portugal (3pm, BBC)

Cameroon v Brazil (7pm, chancel TBC and STV Player)

Serbia v Switzerland (7pm, chancel TBC and STV Player)

Second round
TV schedule for knockout rounds will be announced after the group stage.

Saturday, December 3

Group A winners v Group B runners-up (Game 49- 3pm)

Group C winners v Group D runners-up (Game 50 – 7pm)

Sunday, December 4

Group D winners v Group C runners-up (Game 51 – 3pm)

Group B winners v Group A runners-up (Game 52 – 7pm)

Monday, December 5

Group E winners v Group F runners-up (Game 53 – 3pm)

Group G winners v Group H runners-up (Game 54 – 7pm)

Tuesday, December 6

Group F winners v Group E runners-up (Game 55 – 3pm)

Group H winners v Group G runners-up (Game 56 – 7pm)

Friday, December 9

Winners of game 53 v Winners of game 54 (Game 57 – 3pm)

Winners of game 49 v Winners of game 50 (Game 58, 7pm)

Saturday, December 10

Winners of game 55 v Winners of game 56 (Game 59 – 3pm)

Winners of game 51 v Winners of game 52 (Game 60 – 7pm)

Tuesday, December 13

Winners of game 57 v Winners of game 58 (Game 61 – 7pm)

Wednesday, December 14

Winners of game 59 v Winners of game 60 (Game 62 – 7pm)

Third-place play-off
Saturday, December 17

Losers of game 61 v Losers of game 62 (3pm)

Sunday, December 18

Winners of game 61 v Winners of game 62 (STV and STV Player, 3pm)

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