The opening ceremony of a major sporting event, according to the sports fan, is an outlet for those who enjoy the drama and spectacle of an international association but have little interest in the games.
They have become huge and extravagant art forms at the Olympics, from the stunning Bird's Nest in Beijing to the chilling fantasy London of 2012, but they have never been part of the world. the world of drinks Perhaps the only lasting memory of the opening ceremony is the loss of Diana Ross, who, fortunately, was targeted at the opening of the curtain in 1994. On Saturday, FIFA's multilingual president, Gianni Infantino, set the tone for the tournament's opening ceremony.
Sitting in a press conference with a series of sponsored articles in front of him like conveyor belts from The Game of Generations , Infantino passionately defended the tournament. “Today I feel like a Qatari,” he told the assembled delegation of world media. “Today I feel like an Arab. Today I feel like an African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel like a migrant worker.” His words fell like a kiss in Doha. You know you wrote the wrong post even when Alan Shearer calls it "garbage".
I doubt that in the coming years Infantino's cruel words will be perceived as a real opening of the tournament . But without that historical perspective, Sunday was a fitting start to the tournament, with an impressive display for the state of Qatar. The show begins with narration by Morgan Freeman and the strange introduction of sharks into the desert.
“I started traveling by land and by sea,” Freeman told the audience. “From this country we have heard the call to unite with the world, to return even for a moment to what can unite us…” When Freeman arrived at the Al-Bayt stadium, he was greeted by a packed crowd. Of course, all this was broadcast on Red Button and online, but none of this was heard by BBC One viewers who were watching a completely different show.
In a show featuring sexy, jerky dancers wearing cosmic ski goggles and the tournament's mascot, an anthropomorphic keffiyeh that floats through the air like a giant stingray, journalist Ross Atkins talks about Qatar's biggest scandal.
The BBC studio team of Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer, Alex Scott and Ashley Williams continued to handle football business (a bit of politics) with the stadium behind them lit up with sports lights. So BBC One viewers missed out on K-Pop superstar Jung Kook as he sang the official anthem for the 2022 World Cup, The Dreamers.
“We are dreamers,” he sings. "We do it because we believe in it." She flaunts the genderless androgyny that has made K-Pop one of the world's biggest cultural achievements, applauding Qatari singer Fahad Al Qubaisi, 41, who joins her on the song. This fusion of the great nations of South Korea and Qatar may not win any music awards, but as Freeman told the assembled masses, "What brings nations together also brings communities together."
Whatever that means. Meanwhile, BBC One is bringing in Jeremy Bowen, the BBC's legendary Middle East correspondent, for a geopolitical analysis. This perfectly compensates for Shearer's absurd statement that "every country has its own problems, including ours."
It didn't feel like reshuffling England's game with a Greta Thunberg lecture, but it was a killer reminder of the stakes and perhaps a fairer introduction to the issue than a red-button display of soft power. Although the question arises: why did this not happen at the 2018 World Cup in Russia? An exercise in cognitive dissonance, helped by the fact that, of course, Qatar vs. Ecuador is every bit as inspiring as the original draw (although Russia vs. Saudi Arabia in 2018 will have them fighting for their money).
The action is punctuated by rhythms strange for Ecuadorian fans who sing and scream but don't understand their place in this little piece of history. This is just one of the many surreal themes presented at the exhibition. the decision to move the opening ceremony to the Red Button meant that it was presented without explanation or explanatory text (including a speech in Arabic). It wasn't until Freeman appeared on the scene (after the all- powerful Evan had made it perfectly clear that he would do anything for a paycheck), spouting inspirational aphorisms, that I realized what was going on.
The two opening ceremonies, one broadcast worldwide and the other broadcast by the BBC, illustrate the challenges and opportunities of this World Cup. This is not a sports carnival like the one we saw in 2014 at the Maracana, but something divisive. Maybe now is the right time to see it in half. the duty of moral strictness remains with BBC One, while the obligations as an international broadcast partner are transferred to the digital periphery. The real question now is whether that tone will continue throughout the tournament.
Will they have Frank Gardner together in communications? Liz Doucette at the press conference? John Simpson doing secondary analysis? Or will they consider the job done? In any case, the next game should be easier for them. England vs Iran, Mr.