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The World Cup 2022 is almost upon us but before the on-pitch action can kick off, there is an opening ceremony to be completed.
The ceremony always signifies that football’s global showpiece is ready to get underway with a number of memorable moments down the years, not least Diana Ross’s missed penalty and the goal collapsing anyway at USA 94.
Follow updates from the World Cup opening ceremony LIVE
Four years ago in Russia, Robbie Williams was among the performers at the concert and he caused controversy by giving the middle finger during his encore, a rendition of Rock DJ. Despite that, he is one of the rumoured performers for the Qatar curtain-raiser.
At this World Cup, the opening ceremony will take place ahead of the first match between hosts Qatar and Ecuador today, Sunday 20 November, with the normal glitz and glamour expected to be on show.
Here’s everything you need to know about the opening ceremony:
WHEN WILL THE OPENING CEREMONY TAKE PLACE?
* The opening ceremony of the World Cup will take place on Sunday November 20, ahead of the opening Group A match between hosts Qatar and Ecuador.
* The opening ceremony is scheduled to begin at 1400 GMT.
* The original plan was for the opening ceremony to be held before Qatar’s first game on November 21, which would have created the unusual situation of two games being held before it. However, the opening match was then brought forward by a day.
* Ecuador president Guillermo Lasso said he will not attend his nation’s high-profile opening match against Qatar, citing domestic unrest.
WHAT CHANNEL IS IT ON?
* The opening ceremony will be shown live on TV channel BBC One in the UK.
* Licence-fee payers can stream the event online via the BBC website and iPlayer app.
WHERE WILL THE OPENING CEREMONY TAKE PLACE?
* The opening ceremony will be held at the 60,000-capacity Al Bayt Stadium located 40km north of Doha.
* Named and designed after the tents used by nomads in the Gulf, the Al Bayt Stadium is the farthest venue from central Doha but also one of the biggest and has a retractable roof.
WHO WILL BE PERFORMING AT THE OPENING CEREMONY?
* FIFA are yet to announce a full list of performers for the 2022 World Cup opening ceremony but South Korea’s BTS said Jungkook, one of seven members of the boy band, will perform at the ceremony.
* Other names reported to be involved in the opening ceremony include Colombian pop star Shakira, who sang the 2010 World Cup’s official song, the Black Eyed Peas, Robbie Williams and Nora Fatehi, according to The Telegraph.
* British singer Dua Lipa denied a report that she was set to perform at the ceremony, while singer Rod Stewart told The Times he had turned down an offer of “over $1 million” to perform in Qatar.
WHO PERFORMED AT THE 2018 WORLD CUP OPENING CEREMONY?
* The 2018 World Cup in Russia kicked off with a ceremony in Moscow headlined by British pop star Robbie Williams and Russian soprano Aida Garifullina.
* Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino gave speeches at the opening ceremony.
Additional reporting by Reuters