Local TV gaffe brings Mandela back from grave

Local TV gaffe brings Mandela back from grave


Fireworks explode around a replica of the World Cup trophy during Sunday's ceremony. (Photo: AFP)
Fireworks explode around a replica of the World Cup trophy during Sunday's ceremony. (Photo: AFP)

In the eyes of many Western critics, Qatar is the worst-ever host nation in World Cup history due to issues about human rights, LGBT, migrant workers and alcoholic drinks.

On the pitch, Qatar are likely to become the worst-ever hosts in the World Cup judging from their miserable performance in the 2-0 loss to Ecuador in the opening game of the 2022 finals on Sunday.

They were shaky in defence and clueless up front.

Ecuador raced to a 2-0 lead after just 31 minutes, thanks to strikes by veteran forward "Superman" Enner Valencia.

"From the looks on the faces of the local fans in the stadium, it is quite clear that they want the World Cup to end today," observed one fan.

Many fans left the stadium early as they could not stand watching the mismatch.

Qatar will have to play the Netherlands and Senegal in their remaining Group A games.

One may wonder if they will be able to get a goal, not to mention a point.

South Africa are the only World Cup hosts to have failed to get past the group stage.

But to their credit, the South Africans only had one loss against Uruguay.

They got four points from beating title contenders France and drawing with Mexico.

South Africa and Mexico each had four points and the Mexicans advanced to the knockout stages as runners-up in their group ahead of the hosts on goal difference.

It is the second World Cup in Asia after the 2002 tournament which was jointly held by South Korea and Japan.

The two hosts both progressed past the first round with Japan eliminated in the last 16 and the Koreans reaching the semi-finals.

Back home, Thais were able to watch the opening ceremony and first game of Qatar 2022 live on T Sports 7 and True4U.

As usual, there were errors during the coverage and complaints by viewers.

As the players were singing their national anthems in the pre-match routine, T Sports 7, run by the Sports Authority of Thailand, was still showing commercials.

Worse was that a commentator later said Nelson Mandela was taking part in the opening ceremony.

The former South African leader, who played a key role in bringing the 2010 World Cup to his country, passed away in 2013.

The man in question during Sunday's event indeed was Hollywood star Morgan Freeman.

Why the Oscar-winning actor got a role in the opening ceremony is unclear.

His presence became another controversy as he caused embarrassment for the USA's bid team for the 2022 World Cup by messing up his speech and telling the crowd: "I'm sorry, I missed a page."

Freeman, 85, was labelled a "sellout" with "blood on his hands" by fans after accepting the role in the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Cup, the Daily Mail reported.

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