BBC relegates World Cup opening ceremony to online coverage | Qatar World Cup 2022 News

The UK’s public service broadcaster has been criticized for choosing not to broadcast Qatar’s opening ceremony of the 2022 World Cup on its main news programme.

The BBC has moved coverage of Sunday’s opening ceremony down to secondary streams, including its “red button” service, its online iPlayer app and sports website.

However, viewers who followed its top news on BBC One were unable to catch a spectacular performance themed integration from Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor and missed highlights like performance by BTS star Jungkook and Qatari singer Fahad al- Kubaisi.

Morgan Freeman, narrator of the ceremony, appeared at the stadium to shake hands with a FIFA World Cup ambassador suffering from a rare spinal disorder in an image intended to represent inclusion in a developing nation. faced criticism for its human rights record.

BBC One broadcast the Chelsea-Tottenham match in the Women’s Football League, which ended after the opening ceremony began. The BBC’s social media team also released a four-minute Instagram video at the same time, recalling the 1982 Gay Olympics, organized by former Olympic athletes to highlight homophobia in sport.

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When the channel switched to broadcasting from Qatar, hosts Gary Lineker, Alex Scott and Alex Shearer discussed the allegations against the host country.

“It was the most controversial World Cup in history and a ball hadn’t even been kicked,” Lineker, the former England captain, said in his opening monologue.

“Since FIFA selected Qatar in 2010, the smallest country to ever host football’s biggest tournament has faced some big questions. From allegations of corruption in the bidding process to the treatment of migrant workers who built the stadiums, where many people were killed.”

“Homosexuality is illegal here, women’s rights and freedom of expression are in the spotlight. It was also the decision six years ago to move the World Cup from summer to winter.

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“In that context, there is a tournament that will be held, a tournament that will be watched and enjoyed around the world. Stick to football says FIFA, well, we will, at least for a few minutes.

In the 12 years since it was awarded the right to host the first World Cup in the Middle East, Qatar has reformed its labor laws, including abolishing the much-criticized kafala and exit permit system, which has been abused. used by unscrupulous employers. Qatar has also introduced a minimum wage and new regulations on working in hot conditions as part of labor reforms.

In a report released this month, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said Qatar had made progress in labor reforms — improving living and working conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers — but There are still challenges in the implementation process.

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World Cup organizers say all fans, regardless of their sexual orientation, are welcome in Qatar.

In Qatar’s conservative society, public display of affection is frowned upon, not least among LGBTQ couples.

A BBC spokesperson told Al Jazeera: “All content and information about the World Cup is available on the BBC, including the opening ceremony on iPlayer.”

BBC presenter Gary Lineker hit back at critics, saying it was all a matter of timing and logistics, writing on Twitter: “The entire show is shown live on @BBCiPlayer, BBC Sport website and red button. The opening ceremony’s time has been changed to an earlier time recently and WSL has been confirmed on @bbcone. If you want to see it, you can.

The opening match and opening ceremony of the World Cup have been pushed back one day from FIFA’s original plan, with the move announced more than three months ago, to August.


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