Morgan Freeman fans 'disappointed' as actor leads Qatar World Cup opening ceremony

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By Phoebe Egoroff

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Numerous soccer fans were left disappointed after veteran actor Morgan Freeman led the opening ceremony of this year's FIFA World Cup.

The highly anticipated event - which is held every four years - was awarded to Qatar in 2010, making it the first time the event has been held in the Middle East, FIFA detailed. Generally, the momentous soccer competition happens in the summer, but this year's event was pushed back to winter when the average temperature in Qatar is between 75-82 Fahrenheit.

FIFA's decision to award the cup to Qatar has been met with a slew of criticism by human rights groups across the globe, who disagree with the Arab nation's stance on women's and LGBTQ+ rights, and their treatment of the migrant workers who built the eight stadiums in anticipation of the event.

In fact, The Guardian reported that in the 10 years Qatar has had to prepare for the 2022 World Cup, the nation has employed thousands of migrant workers, giving them as little as 53 cents an hour. Working in soaring temperatures of up to 113 Fahrenheit, thousands of workers have died from heatstroke and exhaustion.

Amongst all of the public condemnation - especially after it was announced that there would be a ban on the sale of alcohol, per The Daily Mail - was further disapproval of Freeman's appearance at the World Cup opening ceremony on Sunday (November 20).

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Many people disapproved of Freeman's appearance at the World Cup opening ceremony on Sunday (November 20). Credit: London Entertainment / Alamy

The 85-year-old Academy Award winner headlined the opening ceremony, titled The Calling, telling the crowd: "We all gather here in one big tribe," and discussing the "emotions that connect us all now," Spanish sports outlet Diario AS reported.

"Football spans the world, unites nations in their love of the beautiful game. What brings together nations, brings together communities. There is a common thread of hope, jubilation and respect," the Memphis, Tennessee-born actor stated.

The Daily Mail reported that there were rows of empty seats that were visible during the live event, as fans allegedly left early.

Reactions from netizens on social media weren't too positive either, with one person tweeting: "Choreographed sentiments mean nothing when over 6000 migrant workers lost their lives building the Qatar World Cup."

"Shame on you, MR. [Morgan Freeman] shame on you, now and forever for helping a corrupt, misogynist and homophobic regime to sell a huge lie to the world. I hope you enjoy the big money you must have collected and pray for the rest of conscience you may have to hunt you forever," another user added.

Someone else mirrored the criticism, chiming in with: "Disappointed in [Morgan Freeman] a man with Freeman as his last name just endorsed an event built on the backs of Non-Free men."

Though, others tweeted that the content of the ceremony was something to be proud of, with one journalist tweeting that the inclusion of the Qu'ran passage on human diversity made him proud: "This disability inclusion is the icing on the cake of the #FIFAWorldCup opening ceremony. Watching this Qatari recite the verse about human diversity from Surah Al-Hujurat in response to Morgan Freeman's appeal for the unity of all tribes, gave me goosebumps. Take a bow, Qatar!"

With a month of nonstop sport ahead of us, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the world reacts to what is to come.

Featured image credit: London Entertainment / Alamy

Morgan Freeman fans 'disappointed' as actor leads Qatar World Cup opening ceremony

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

Numerous soccer fans were left disappointed after veteran actor Morgan Freeman led the opening ceremony of this year's FIFA World Cup.

The highly anticipated event - which is held every four years - was awarded to Qatar in 2010, making it the first time the event has been held in the Middle East, FIFA detailed. Generally, the momentous soccer competition happens in the summer, but this year's event was pushed back to winter when the average temperature in Qatar is between 75-82 Fahrenheit.

FIFA's decision to award the cup to Qatar has been met with a slew of criticism by human rights groups across the globe, who disagree with the Arab nation's stance on women's and LGBTQ+ rights, and their treatment of the migrant workers who built the eight stadiums in anticipation of the event.

In fact, The Guardian reported that in the 10 years Qatar has had to prepare for the 2022 World Cup, the nation has employed thousands of migrant workers, giving them as little as 53 cents an hour. Working in soaring temperatures of up to 113 Fahrenheit, thousands of workers have died from heatstroke and exhaustion.

Amongst all of the public condemnation - especially after it was announced that there would be a ban on the sale of alcohol, per The Daily Mail - was further disapproval of Freeman's appearance at the World Cup opening ceremony on Sunday (November 20).

wp-image-1263179199 size-full
Many people disapproved of Freeman's appearance at the World Cup opening ceremony on Sunday (November 20). Credit: London Entertainment / Alamy

The 85-year-old Academy Award winner headlined the opening ceremony, titled The Calling, telling the crowd: "We all gather here in one big tribe," and discussing the "emotions that connect us all now," Spanish sports outlet Diario AS reported.

"Football spans the world, unites nations in their love of the beautiful game. What brings together nations, brings together communities. There is a common thread of hope, jubilation and respect," the Memphis, Tennessee-born actor stated.

The Daily Mail reported that there were rows of empty seats that were visible during the live event, as fans allegedly left early.

Reactions from netizens on social media weren't too positive either, with one person tweeting: "Choreographed sentiments mean nothing when over 6000 migrant workers lost their lives building the Qatar World Cup."

"Shame on you, MR. [Morgan Freeman] shame on you, now and forever for helping a corrupt, misogynist and homophobic regime to sell a huge lie to the world. I hope you enjoy the big money you must have collected and pray for the rest of conscience you may have to hunt you forever," another user added.

Someone else mirrored the criticism, chiming in with: "Disappointed in [Morgan Freeman] a man with Freeman as his last name just endorsed an event built on the backs of Non-Free men."

Though, others tweeted that the content of the ceremony was something to be proud of, with one journalist tweeting that the inclusion of the Qu'ran passage on human diversity made him proud: "This disability inclusion is the icing on the cake of the #FIFAWorldCup opening ceremony. Watching this Qatari recite the verse about human diversity from Surah Al-Hujurat in response to Morgan Freeman's appeal for the unity of all tribes, gave me goosebumps. Take a bow, Qatar!"

With a month of nonstop sport ahead of us, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the world reacts to what is to come.

Featured image credit: London Entertainment / Alamy