Fireworks explode during the opening ceremony.

World Cup Opening Ceremony 2022: Here are 15 pictures of the show that opened the Qatar tournament - including Morgan Freeman and Jung Kook

The BBC opted not to broadcast the ceremony, which featured actor Morgan Freeman and Jung Kook from K-pop superstars BTS.

Lasting a little under half an hour, the show was part of the build-up to the first game of the Qatar tournament – which saw the hosts lose 2-0 to Ecuador.

But instead of broadcasting the ceremony, the BBC’s Gary Lineker was joined by pundits Alex Scott, Alan Shearer and Ashley Williams to discuss the various controversies surrounding the World Cup.

Introduced the BBC’s first coverage of the World Cup, Lineker said: “Ever since Fifa chose Qatar back in 2010, the smallest nation to have hosted football’s greatest competition has faced some big questions – from accusations of corruption in the bidding process to the treatment of migrant workers who built the stadiums where many lost their lives. Homosexuality is illegal here. Women’s rights and freedom of expression are in the spotlight. Also, the decision six years ago to switch the World Cup from summer to winter. Against that backdrop, there’s a tournament to be played – one that will be watched and enjoyed around the world. Stick to football, say Fifa. Well, we will – for a couple of minutes at least.”

Lineker defended the decision, hitting back on Twitter: “It was shown live in its entirety on @BBCiPlayer, BBC Sport website and red button. The timing of the opening ceremony was changed to an earlier time very recently and WSL was already confirmed on @bbcone. If you wanted to watch it, you could.”

The opening ceremony was broadcast live in the UK by Al Jazeera and – aside from a monologue from Morgan Freeman and a performance of World Cup song ‘Dreamers’ by Jung Kook – featured a light show, fireworks, dancers and appearances from former World Cup mascots alongside Qatari creation La'eeb.

Here are 15 pictures of the show.

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