Arab and international media outlets gave great attention to the opening ceremony of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023, which was held at Lusail Stadium on Friday, hailing the humanitarian messages delivered during the ceremony, urging coexistence and love of peace, as well as the focus it gave to the Palestinian cause in solidarity with the Palestinian people through their current ordeal.
Saudi media praised the efforts of the Qatar government in terms of the world class organisation that makes the Arab and Gulf peoples proud, and deemed the success of the opening ceremony to be the result of good investment in human resources.
The 1st Saudi Channel indicated that Qatar has reached a stage where organising successful sporting events is a given, and that the Qatar 2023 edition of the AFC Asian Cup will continue this trend.
The channel added that Qatar possesses all the elements to ensure success in terms of infrastructure and giant projects, in addition to organisers and volunteers.
The channel concluded that Qatar has presented world class performances, confirming the capabilities of the Gulf people, and noted that Qatar's sporting success is linked to teamwork in various aspects and is a reflection of the country’s economic, educational and political success.
The Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) praised the organisation of the Asian Cup Qatar 2023 opening ceremony and its humanitarian messages.
It highlighted Team Qatar captain Hassan al-Haydos's ceding the tradition of taking the championship oath to his Palestinian peer Musab al-Battat.
The Dubai Sport 1 TV Channel aired a report highlighting the messages conveyed during the opening ceremony, in terms of pride in identity and drawing inspiration from authentic literary heritage, including revealing the missing chapter of the historical novel Kalila and Dimna, from which the stories form cultural bridges extending between all Asian countries and draw a map of love and solidarity among its people.
The report touched on the ideal start for Team Qatar in its journey towards defending their title after scoring an unanswered hat-trick against Team Lebanon in the first match held at the Lusail World Cup Stadium.
Jordan's Petra news agency noted the visual and audio performances presented during the hour-long ceremony, merging modern technology with the heritage that characterises the Arab region.
The news agency pointed out that the ceremony carried messages of support for the Palestinian people, and in particular with the plight of the people of the Gaza Strip since the events of October 7.
Petra also cited al-Haydos's ceding the tradition of taking the championship oath to al-Battat.
Palestine's WAFA news agency highlighted the remarkable Palestinian presence at the opening ceremony of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023, noting that the ceremony featured performances of Palestinian songs and traditional attire.
WAFA also touched upon al-Haydos and al-Battat’s display of solidarity.
The Saudi MBC channel hailed the dazzling image of the opening ceremony, in particular the creative presentation of the missing chapter of Kalila and Demna book.
Abu Dhabi Sports (AD) television channel highlighted the opening ceremony and said the whole world watched the inauguration of the 18th edition of AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 at Lusail stadium that offered the world a beautiful painting of Arab heritage in an Asian frame.
The AD channel noted that the opening ceremony was reminiscent of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 tournament.
The Omani Television affirmed that Qatar has fulfilled the promise of an opening ceremony that vividly translated its major expertise in organising major events.
It noted that it has become easy for Qatar to host any tournament at any time, citing the 1995 FIFA World Youth Championship that was suddenly assigned to Qatar, which had subsequently succeeded in organising it, sparing FIFA from embarrassment.
Oman Sports TV hailed the messages conveyed at the opening ceremony that underscored the centrality of the Palestinian cause.
The channel focused on fans interaction within and without the stadium through the accompanying cultural and recreational events.
Iraqi media reported that the opening ceremony was unique and exceptional, and hailed the revelation of the missing chapter of Kalila and Demna book.
The Iraqi Channel 4 News noted that the ceremony highlighted the nine stadiums hosting the matches, along with the 10 Arab teams, and the participation of Palestinian team in particular.
Iraqi UTV satellite television network lauded the opening ceremony, especially those chapters inspired by Kalila and Dimna, saying that it enjoyed the most beautiful moments of the past, present and future during the event.
The Lebanese Al Jadeed TV said that the event was a lavish and unprecedented ceremony attended by high-ranking officials and dignitaries from all over the world, alongside numerous global sports figures.
The network highlighted that al-Haydos recited the oath of the tournament while wearing the Palestinian keffiyeh, and that al-Battat and al-Haydos left the stage together.
Al Arabiya TV Channel reported that the championship will for the first time utilise the Semi-Automated Offside Technology (SAOT).
It also noted that fans have the opportunity to watch three matches in one day.
International news agencies also highlighted the opening ceremony of the Asian Cup Qatar 2023, noting in particular the prominent Palestinian presence in light of the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip since October 7.
Reuters indicated that Lusail Stadium, where the final of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 between Argentina and France was held, hosted the opening ceremony of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023.
The agency reported on Team Palestine’s al-Battat delivering the championship oath after Team Qatar’s al-Haydos ceded the tradition to him.
Reuters added that the ceremony was entitled The Missing Chapter of Kalila and Dimna, an Asian heritage book that represents the cultural similarities in the vast continent.
It also noted the remarkable Palestinian presence.
German news agencyDPA also gave attention to the opening ceremony of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023, especially the part involving the missing chapter of Kalila and Dimna.
Kalila and Dimna is considered timeless work, containing many messages related to coexistence, understanding and co-operation, which are the same concepts that reflect the spirit of the Asian Cup Qatar 2023, it added.
France's AFP praised the Palestinian presence at the opening ceremony, and highlighted the gesture of solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
AFP also praised the world class organisation of the opening ceremony, stressing that Qatar completed its preparations to host the 2023 Asian Cup Qatar in record time after being announced as the host country in October 2022, the day after China apologised for the measures imposed at the time due to the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).
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