Qatar World Cup finally starts after more than a decade of discussion and controversy

Qatar World Cup finally starts after more than a decade of discussion and controversy


On the day of the opening match of the Qatar World Cup, a dust storm swept across Doha.

The wind came from the north-west, barrelling from across the desert, started by the flap of a butterfly wing somewhere else in the world a long time ago.

A blanket of haze blurs the horizon at the best of times, but this storm was thicker, more menacing, reaching high into the sky.

It turned the Sun a deep red as it dipped towards the Earth, like a wide, unblinking eye staring down at the unusual tournament that was about to begin below.

The Al Bayt stadium, which hosted the World Cup’s opening ceremony and its first game between the hosts and Ecuador on Monday morning, emerged from the dimness of the dust a couple of kilometres away from our media bus.



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