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Football World Cup 2022 in Qatar: Press speaks of “crazy” opening

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I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.
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A French newspaper called the start of the World Cup “crazy”. The mental state of Fifa President Gianni Infantino is also a topic in the judgment of the international press at the start of the World Cup in Qatar.

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After an opulent show in the desert stadium, the World Cup hosts Qatar lost the opening game 0:2 against Ecuador. Even before the final whistle the spectator stands were empty, and a performance by FIFA President Gianni Infantino also caused irritation. The international press writes about this:


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“Marca”: “They got the chill out with money, but not how to play football well. (…) In elite football, it’s almost impossible without talent. And if there was any doubt about that, then it needed the World Cup, the most demanding and spectacular Sporting competition in the world, three minutes to remind you.”

“El País”: “The Emir of Qatar opens the tournament and celebrates ‘diversity’ in a box with few women.”


“L’team”: “Qatar doesn’t really have the level to play a part in their World Cup and a lot of their crowd didn’t come back in the second half. A crazy opening.”

“Le Figaro”: “One thing is for sure: Qatar did not impress in their opening game. (…) An opening game that, by and large, will not go down in history, played at a slow pace, with few chances and little spectacle.”


“Kronen-Zeitung” [zu Infantinos Aussage, er habe Diskriminierung wegen seiner roten Haare erlebt]: “A sentence that is a mockery for the persecuted minorities and oppressed women. Inappropriate and self-important. (…) For several Qatar critics, however, one thing is certain: the low point is already reached before the first game kicks off.”

Great Britain

“Daily Mirror”: “Enner Valencia shone even brighter than the Opening Ceremony light show when Ecuador beat hosts Qatar in the first game. (…) Qatar need to show something very special in the next two games to even have a chance at their home World Cup to get ahead.”

“Telegraph”: “Qatar offers a perfect example of sportswashing in its opening ceremony. (…) Ultimately, this ceremony was a showcase of a unique encounter between a corrupt, money-obsessed organization and a regime with a medieval approach to civil rights and job security.”

“Guardians”: “For Qatar, this was a disappointment after 12 years of preparation. The host country has spent that time building the infrastructure for a World Cup shrouded in controversy and filled with a bitter taste of whatever the next four weeks will bring , will probably never be washed away.”

Press review: "The low point was reached before the first game" – this is how the international press judged the start of the World Cup


“La Republica”: “When the announcer proudly announces the 67,000 spectators in the stands of Al-Bait Stadium, many have long since left. Already at half-time. Qatar, as hosts, start the World Cup very badly, the first in their history: a game that never took place, summarized in the face of the Qatar coach, the Spaniard Felix Sanchez Bas, which he covers with his hand after Enner Valencia’s second goal.”

Source: Stern

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