World Cup: Fans slam Morgan Freeman for taking Qatar ‘blood money’ to front opening ceremony


World Cup fans slam ‘sellout’ Morgan Freeman for taking Qatar’s ‘blood money’ to front opening ceremony… 12 years after fluffing his lines in USA’s failed bid to host 2022 tournament

Morgan Freeman has been labelled a ‘sellout’ with ‘blood on his hands’ after accepting Qatari cash to front the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Cup.

His surprise appearance in Doha comes 12 years after he fluffed his lines while attempting to help the USA’s bid to host the 2022 tournament.

On social media, fans called him a ‘Qatari sleeper agent’, reminiscing on his infamous speech in 2010, where he caused huge embarrassment for the USA’s bid team by messing up his speech and telling the crowd: ‘I’m sorry, I missed a page’. 

Freeman narrated the opening segment of the 2022 World Cup opening ceremony, titled ‘The Calling’, telling viewers: ‘We all gather here in one big tribe’.

On social media, the reaction was less than favorable for the Oscar-winning actor, 85, with one insisting it was a ‘slap in the face’ to see the American in the stadium.

Morgan Freeman fronted the start of the World Cup opening ceremony in Qatar on Sunday

He appeared in a segment titled 'The Calling', telling fans: 'We all gather here in one big tribe'

He appeared in a segment titled ‘The Calling’, telling fans: ‘We all gather here in one big tribe’

But on social media, there was a less than favorable reception to Freeman's appearance

But on social media, there was a less than favorable reception to Freeman’s appearance

Another added ‘money talks’, while one said: ‘Sportswashing runs deep.’

David Beckham has also received a huge amount of criticism for his role in the Qatar World Cup build-up, and he too was pictured inside the stadium watching the events unfold.

Empty seats could be seen within the Al Bayt Stadium during the ceremony, which featured scenes including ‘Leta’Arafo (To Know One Another)’, followed by ‘Chants of Nations’, a World Cup Medley, a showcase of the official mascots and Jung Kook of South Korean boy band BTS.

Freeman speaks to Qatari YouTuber Ghanim al Muftah during the opening ceremony in Doha

Freeman speaks to Qatari YouTuber Ghanim al Muftah during the opening ceremony in Doha

Freeman's arrival in Qatar came 12 years after he tried to help the USA win the hosting rights

Freeman’s arrival in Qatar came 12 years after he tried to help the USA win the hosting rights

Freeman’s appearance was perhaps the most surprising of all, though, given his previous ambitions to help the USA win 2022 World Cup hosting rights. 

In 2010, he travelled to Zurich as part of the US bid team, alongside the likes of former President Bill Clinton, presenting a speech to try and win votes for his country – before his slip-up left a bitter taste in the mouth.

Writing on Twitter, Men In Blazers presenter Roger Bennett said Freeman’s appearance in Qatar was ‘epic trolling on a global scale’.

It is as yet unknown how much money Freeman was paid to play his role in the opening ceremony. 

Back in 2010, Freeman messed up his speech in Zurich while trying to help the USA's bid

Back in 2010, Freeman messed up his speech in Zurich while trying to help the USA’s bid

In his speech, the actor missed a page out and caused huge embarrassment for the bid team

In his speech, the actor missed a page out and caused huge embarrassment for the bid team

Grant Wahl joked Freeman was a 'Qatari sleeper agent' when he fluffed his lines back in 2010

Grant Wahl joked Freeman was a ‘Qatari sleeper agent’ when he fluffed his lines back in 2010

Fans labelled the Oscar-winning actor a 'sellout' after he turned up in Qatar on Sunday

Fans labelled the Oscar-winning actor a ‘sellout’ after he turned up in Qatar on Sunday

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