Al Khor, Qatar
The Sunday Review
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Doha has had a giant clock counting down to the opening match since the beginning of the year. World Cup. Qatar and the rest of the world don’t have to wait any longer. controversial tournament Got underway Sunday: The host lost 2-0 to Ecuador.

After a dramatic opening ceremony that featured stars like Morgan Freeman, a Hollywood actor, and Jung Kook from BTS, the sport took center stage. Prior to this, it was overshadowed during the buildup by off-the pitch matters.

It wasn’t the result that many in Qatar would have hoped for. The host appeared nervous and struggled against a quality opponent with experience and quality. Halftime was the end of the game. Ecuador Enner Valencia’s two goals made it 2-0 comfortably.

The stadium was less crowded after the match and there were more empty seats. as Some fans appeared to be fed up.

The nearer we got to Sunday’s kickoff in Doha, the more excited fans in this city became. A magnificent firework display lit up the sky on Saturday night and social media exploded with Qataris making their enthusiasm known about hosting one of sport’s biggest events.

Over the past few days, thousands of fans from all over the world have gathered in Doha squares to chant, chant, and wave their national flags. This created an amazing atmosphere.

This festival spirit was evident on match day. It extended from the city centre to the Al Bayt Stadium, where the opening match of this historic tournament took place. World CupThis was the first Middle East event to be held.

People watch as fireworks go off before the start of the World Cup at the Al Bayt Stadium.

Although it felt at times like any other major tournament, the build up to this event was unlike any other.

Corruption scandals plagued FIFA, world football’s governing body, after it awarded Qatar the tournament in 2010 – though Qatari officials have previously “strongly denied” The Sunday Review reports on the allegations of bribery that have surrounded its bid.

Over a decade ago, and increasing in number as kickoff neared, the pre-tournament build-up has focused on the country’s human rights record, from the death of migrant workers and the conditions many have endured in Qatar, as Well as It LGBTQ laws The role of women in society. The country’s last-minute ban of alcohol in World Cup The stadiums made headlines across the globe.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s remarkable press conference on the eve of the opening game demonstrated just how little on-field issues have featured so far.

Saturday saw the FIFA boss address hundreds of journalists in Doha. His speech began with almost an hour-long speech. During which he accused Western critics, hypocrisy, and racism.

Many critics have criticized those involved in the tournament. Maluma from Colombia, who is featured in the official World Cup anthem, walked out of an interview on Israeli television when he was questioned about the Gulf state’s human rights record.

The opening ceremony itself focused heavily on unity, with performances giving a nod to all the countries playing in this year’s tournament.

While the pre-match attention was inevitably on the host nation, Qatar’s opponents also had a story to tell as After being involved in a legal dispute against Chile, its place in the tournament was confirmed only weeks ago.

It revolved around Bryon castillo’s eligibility, which rivals claimed was ineligible for representation Ecuador Castillo claimed he was born in Colombia. The case was referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, who deemed Castillo eligible but, despite this, he was not included in his nation’s World Cup Squad for Qatar 2022. On Sunday’s showing, it doesn’t look like the team miss Castillo.

Valencia scores past Qatar's goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb for Ecuador's opening goal.

After their team took the lead, Ecuadorian fans erupted in celebration just minutes after the match began. Valencia attempted to score from close range, but the Video Assistant Referee(VAR) disallowed Valencia’s goal.

Just minutes later, the yellow shirts celebrated again as From the penalty spot, Valencia scored for his side. Saad al Sheeb, goalkeeper had fouled forward as He attempted to jump beyond him.

Before the second half was over, the captain doubled his score and directed a bullet header to the bottom corner. as Qatar seemed to lack confidence and belief

Here’s the best part: underwayThe organizers believe that the focus will shift from off-field issues to human rights. But, in truth, this tournament’s legacy will not be determined on the pitch. It will instead be determined by real change and the improvement in the lives of those who made it possible.