For those of you who know me, you’ll know that I’m not the greatest fan of sports. I don’t follow many teams, and had an interesting experience at a recent event when asked to wear “my favourite AFL team colours”!
But, for the first time in 28 years, Egypt made it into the FIFA World Cup…and I might have got a little bit too excited! My family overseas is quite involved in the soccer scene, with my uncle representing FIFA in Africa and heading up the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee, so a love for soccer is “supposed” to run in the family!
This year, the World Cup is being hosted by Russia, and it kicked off on the 14 June with a brilliant opening ceremony.
There’s something simply magical about an opening ceremony. By its nature, the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony captures the very essence of inclusiveness, because it brings together such a diverse group of people.
As an event to open another event, an opening ceremony needs to be big, bold and beautiful. It must set the scene for what’s about to happen. It needs to entice people into the next event, and showcase its culture and meaning.
Often, an event of this scale is watched by millions (if not billions) of people around the world. It involves coordinating thousands of participants and taking countless measures to ensure it all comes off without a hitch…especially when it’s being aired live.
I have huge admiration and respect for the organisers of this opening ceremony, and others like it. More often than not, they do a tremendous job, and we walk away feeling even more anticipation for what’s to come.
Although they only run the World Cup every four years, the opening ceremony alone can take a year or more to plan. From the development of the stadium, the coordination of the performers, security, food, drink…it’s definitely, no easy task to pull off.
But they did it – and I especially loved the use of tech and theming this year, such as taking aerial shots with drones to capture the magnitude of the ceremony and the soccer installations around the stadium including the stage. Technology has the power to make events more exciting, and I can’t wait to see how it evolves in the future.
This year, the FIFA World Cup ceremony was held the day before the last day of Ramadan. After our spectacular recent Egypt on a Plate event, we wanted to do something small to commemorate it and celebrate Egypt qualifying for the World Cup.
We held a small event for the Egyptian community in Canberra, recreating the atmosphere as you would experience it if you were attending a match in Egypt. It was great fun, with face painting, food, drinks, and plenty of End2End style.
Since the opening ceremony, we have enjoyed watching Australia and Egypt play in the Cup. Both teams have put on an almighty performance, even if it hasn’t been reflected in the final scores.
We hope you will join us in wishing the remaining teams, many of whom have a big fan base in Australia within our diverse community, the very best of luck and team spirit!