DOHA, Qatar — On Sunday, the world will tune in to watch Qatar and Ecuador kick off the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but before the first kick, a ceremony will welcome the world to the biggest stage in sports.
Starting at about 8 a.m. Central Time in anticipation of the first game of the tournament at Al Bayt Stadium, a crowd of 60,000 people will watch performances from artists from around the world including Jungkook, a member of the K-Pop band BTS, and Grammy Award winning American rapper Lil Baby.
Marco Balich, a longtime Olympic opening and closing ceremony creative director, said he is in charge of the 30-minute Olympic-style show. A first for the World Cup.
“FIFA and the supreme committee — especially FIFA — realized how much effort was going into creating the ceremony and creating for the first time something that’s not just someone singing before the opening game,” Balich said.
The ceremony and rest of the tournament will be broadcast on FOX.
The message and content of this show were curated personally by the country’s leadership,” said Balich, who is working with co-artistic director Akhmed Al Baker. “They want to talk about multiculturalism, accepting diversity and being a platform for peace.”
Following the ceremony, host nation Qatar will play their opening group stage match against Ecuador. It will be the only match played on Sunday.
On Monday, the United States will play their first group stage match against Wales at 1 p.m. Central Time in one of three matches played on the day.
- vs Wales – Monday, November 21 – 1 p.m. – Al Rayyan Stadium
- vs England – Friday, November 25 – 1 p.m. – Al Bayt Stadium
- vs Iran – Tuesday, November 29 – 1 p.m. – Al Thumama Stadium
The 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup will be the last time that only 32 teams will play in the tournament.
In 2026, the international tournament will expand to 48 teams when it is hosted in Canada, Mexico and the United States.