Controversial World Cup in Qatar Set to Kick Off
i24 News – The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar on Sunday with the host country taking on Ecuador at Al-Bayt Stadium.
Organizers say that 2.9 million of the 3.1 million tickets have been sold and they are expecting the 60,000 seats to sell out in the opening match.
The Gulf state has spent $200 billion in preparations for the global event.
“There’s a lot of excitement here in Qatar about the beginning of the World Cup and there’s also an excitement about their national team,” sports analyst Yoav Borowitz told i24NEWS from Doha, adding that the atmosphere on Sunday evening for the Qatar-Ecuador match in Al Khor “will be amazing.”
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said that Qatar’s last-minute ban on the sale of beer at the stadiums was made jointly by Qatari officials and FIFA.
Spectators can still drink alcohol in the evenings in the FIFA fan zones — designated party areas that will also offer live music and activities.
Qatar puts strict limits on the purchase and consumption of alcohol in its country, although its sale is permitted in hotel bars outside of tournament-run areas.