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Dazzling opening ceremony sets stage for Qatar 2023

Ahead of the competition’s highly anticipated opening clash between hosts Qatar and Lebanon, the Lusail Stadium welcomed fans from across Asia to bask in the splendour of Asia’s crown jewel.

Graced by the Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the ceremony commenced with a spectacular theatrical performance, The Lost Chapter of Kelileh & Demneh, based on the ancient fable of the same name.

The performance, which celebrated the spirit of camaraderie across the diverse cultures of Asia, transcending borders and languages, was followed by Qatar captain Hassan Al Haydos shifting from tradition to pass the honour to his Palestine counterpart Musab Battat to take the players’ oath.

“Given that the FIFA World Cup took place here only a year ago, my expectations were high, but what we experienced was grander than anything I could have imagined,” said a jubilant Hamad Al Ansari, who is attending his second back-to-back AFC Asian Cup™.

The electric atmosphere was further enhanced by a show of mesmerising fireworks followed by the performance of Lebanese singer Abeer Nehme.