Morgan Freeman sought to provide a dose of Hollywood appeal as the 2022 World Cup officially opened in Qatar.
The Oscar-winning actor, known for his roles in The Shawshank Redemption and Million Dollar Baby, narrated the original opening ceremony on a video before appearing at the 60,000-capacity Al Bayt Stadium People.
He told the crowd: “We are gathered here as one great tribe and the Earth is the tent we all live in.”
Men who danced with swords, camels and paraded the World Cup’s mascot also appeared at the opening ceremony of the controversial tournament awarded to Qatar.
Dreamers, from the official World Cup soundtrack, is performed by BTS superstar Jung Kook and Qatari singer Fahad Al Kubaisi.
The lyrics include: “Look who we are, we’re dreamers, we’ll make it happen because we believe in it.”
Qatar has spent more than US$200 billion (£177.7 billion) on infrastructure since 2010.
Freeman appeared later in the ceremony to tell the crowd: “Football spreads around the world, uniting nations with their love for the beautiful game.
“What binds nations together also holds communities together.
“We all have a story about football and how it brought us together and this land has its own story.”
Fifa President Gianni Infantino attended with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir of Qatar, and Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the driving force behind the country’s bid to host the World Cup.
Video of the day
Elsewhere, a British couple named Vicky and George appeared on stage at the Doha Al-Bidda fan festival in Qatari costumes and said they were supporting the Gulf nation. .
When asked about her prediction, Vicky said she thinks Qatar will win their opening match 2-1 against Ecuador.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/oscar-winner-morgan-freeman-helps-open-qatar-world-cup-42158921.html Oscar winner Morgan Freeman helps Qatar open World Cup