Home Sports Rain-drenched opening ceremony and eager fans kick off Club World Cup in Jeddah

Rain-drenched opening ceremony and eager fans kick off Club World Cup in Jeddah

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Arabian Weekly report

JEDDAH — Under a downpour of rain and amidst an astounding crowd, the FIFA Club World Cup football competition commenced in Jeddah, marked by a magnificent ceremony at King Abdullah Sports City just minutes before the Ittihad vs. Auckland City match on Tuesday.

The opening ceremony, which featured laser and light shows along with seven banners announcing the participating teams, was signified by fireworks. The phrase “Welcome Champions” adorned the pitch.

Competing in the tournament are Ittihad as the host nation’s Saudi league champions, Auckland, Egypt’s Al Ahly as the African champions, Brazil’s Fluminense as Copa Libertadores champions, Mexico’s Club Leon as the champions of North and Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF), Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds as Asian champions, and Europe’s Manchester City, the top contender for the title.

The 20th edition of the tournament’s opening was enlivened by the Swedish group “Swedish House Mafia” and American rapper Busta Rhymes. American singer Bebe Rexha, selected by FIFA and nominated four times for the prestigious Grammy Award, performed the tournament’s official song “It’s On”.

Rexha expressed her delight in presenting this year’s tournament song, calling it a lifetime opportunity, and was pleased that fans would hear the official song throughout the matches.

Ittihad fans created a fantastic atmosphere in the stands, continuously chanting and providing significant moral support for their team in the opening match.

The tournament will conclude on Dec. 22 and is the last edition to be held under the old system before FIFA’s decision to expand the participating teams to 32 for the next edition in 2025 in the United States, to be held every four years.

The Saudi Football Federation and FIFA chose the sand cat “Haddaf” as the official mascot of the Club World Cup, symbolizing the spirit of sportsmanship and the principle that football is for everyone, enhancing excitement and competition through a series of promotional events in Jeddah.

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