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Connect the World
Later Today: USA & Wales Clash in Group B Match; Iran's Starting 11 do not Sing National Anthem before Match; In Iran's Detention Center "They chose the pretty ones"; England Defeat Iran 6-2 in Group B Opener; Bob Iger Returning as Disney CEO in Surprise Move; Football Fans Take First-Ever Flight from Tel Aviv to Doha. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired November 21, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Hello and welcome back to what is this special edition of "Connect the World"! I'm Becky Anderson coming
to you live tonight from Doha, where the historic 2022 FIFA World Cup is now underway.
Well, it's the first World Cup ever hosted in the Middle East. Qatar has spent the past dozen years preparing for its moment on the world stage. And
we've already seen competition and controversy. A short time ago, England defeated Iran 6-2 in the Group B opener. This was an historic matchup
The two nations have never faced each other in an international competition. Well, the match began with a powerful moment of silence from
Iran's starting 11. They refused to sing their nation's anthem in an apparent show of solidarity with protesters back home.
And seven European club captains say they will not now were the #onelove armbands expressing diversity and inclusion that was after learning that
they could be penalized with yellow cards. Well two more matches still to play today. One just getting underway CNN Sports Anchor, Amanda Davies is
Now let's talk about the football first because that is ultimately what is going on here. We've had the England Iran match, perhaps not surprisingly,
I mean, those were two teams which weren't mismatched necessarily. But one would have expected perhaps England team to win briefly.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes, I think England perhaps wouldn't have expected to have been quite as one sided as it was. They'll take it.
But I think equally, the hubs will have a degree of sympathy for Iran and Carlos - who has spent so much of his career in England, knows a lot of the
players very well.
But I think a real awareness that they have so much going on at home in Iran at the moment. There's a lot on those players minds that they're being
asked to carry as a football team as well but yet certainly a performance that will boost England's confidence heading in to the next couple of days.
ANDERSON: Certainly the host nation needs a boost in confidence. So the opening game, of course was last night Qatar against Ecuador. You know,
some setting that Qatar hardly turned up the Ecuadorians did all right. So that was last night. This is sort of the first real night of sort of
footballers, as we would expect it and we've got Wales, U.S. currently underway.
DAVIES: Wales, U.S. is in a couple of hours' time. That's the one I'm going to a little bit later when I'm done here actually. I have to say the
understatement of the tournament so far is the Qatar Coach Felix Sanchez saying there is room for improvement from his side definitely that.
But yes, it's a really fascinating matchup, USA against Wales, and actually a really tough one to call because it's a really exciting young crop of
U.S. players who, a lot of whom now play their domestic football in Europe. They aren't necessarily always in the starting lineup, but they're really
And the U.S. has one eye, of course, on the next World Cup 2026 when they're going to be Co-Hosts, with Mexico, and Canada. And so they're going
into it saying we're probably not the favorites, but we want to put on a good show to build our momentum.
They had that phone call from President Joe Biden, the weekend. He's got their vote of confidence, should we say but they're up against a Wales
side, which have waited a long time for this moment. And when we say a long time, we mean 64 years.
They have the longest gap between a first World Cup performance and a second World Cup performance in history. It's huge, but they have a team at
the other end of the spectrum. A lot of very well established, some would say older, maybe veteran players, Captain Gareth Bale who you know this is
- he was going to retire and then his team qualified for this World Cup. And he is still here, and he really wants to go out on a high.
ANDERSON: Let me tell you. I was with some Wales fans earlier on today they are so excited to be here. It means so much to what is a very small
ANDERSON: And it's when you get that sort of reaction that you realize just how important the World Cup is to so many people? Sport has the power to
change the world. It certainly has the power to change the feeling of anybody who comes from a little country, like Wales, apologies to anybody
who's out there who thought that game was underway because I've just said it isn't.
Amanda is absolutely right couple of hours from now that is the second game in Group B Wales versus the U.S.
DAVIES: Senegal, The Netherlands is all about to kick off, which is a fabulous one so yes--
ANDERSON: Absolutely. Stay with us, folks. Thank you. It's been 12 years since Qatar first learned it we'll be hosting this global event making it
the first Arab nation, of course, to do so since then we've followed every step of it.
Everything that it took to get here, it's almost hard to believe it's all finally happen. Here's a look at how we got here.
ANDERSON (voice over): The Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup is officially underway. 12 long years in the making--
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is almost upon us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 2022--
ANDERSON (voice over): This is where the journey began.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --is Qatar.
ANDERSON (voice over): 2010 scenes of jubilation across a small, immensely wealthy nation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not only going to host the successful World Cup, we're going to host the best World Cup ever.
ANDERSON (voice over): That started a massive infrastructure project, seven new stadiums and airport extension and entire metro system and countless
ANDERSON (on camera): I've been coming to Doha for more than a decade and frankly, for the past 10 years most of the conversations that I have, when
I've been here have been dominated by talk of preparation for this tournament. So it is amazing to see the fans mingling here, Tunisia,
Argentina, Senegal, they are here and they are loving it as this tournament begins. But of course, it hasn't been without its controversy.
ANDERSON (voice over): Initially allegations of corruption and bribery dogged this bid accusations that Qatar has always denied.
NASSER AL KHATER, QATAR 2022 CEO: Innocent until proven guilty. We were not extended that we were guilty and we have to keep proving our innocence over
and over and over again. Had it been another nation would it be measured with the same yardstick?
ANDERSON (voice over): Then there's the plight of migrant workers employed on World Cup infrastructure an issue I've been pressing organizers on for
ANDERSON (on camera): Last time you and I were here we were in high vis jackets--
ANDERSON (voice over): Most recently last summer--
HASSAN AL THAWADI, SECRETARY GENERAL, SUPREME COMMITTEE FOR DELIVERY AND LEGACY: The Kafala system has been dismantled.
ANDERSON (on camera): That's the sponsorship - system exploited--
THAWADI: That's a sponsorship system - absolutely--
ANDERSON (on camera): --that has been dismantled?
ANDERSON (on camera): Surely you will concede that it is absolutely critical that perpetrators of abuse and exploitation be held to account.
What's been done to ensure that that's the case?
THAWADI: As far as I am aware and following closely what the state has done people who have abused the law are punished.
ANDERSON (voice over): Well, there has been significant progress more needs to be done and Qatar admits that. And there's also the issue of anti-
homosexuality laws here. Adding more pressure to Qatar in 2017 four Arab nations, three of them close neighbors cut off diplomatic and trade ties,
blockading the small state accusing Doha of supporting extremist groups.
The few that divided the Gulf ended last year. And remarkably in May, Qatar Airways announced the partnership with regional air carriers to shuttle
fans to and from Doha, realizing along the stated goal of the organizers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From day one, we've said this is a tournament for the region, and it still continues being a tournament for the region. We've
always worked and strive towards ensuring that the benefit of the World Cup extends beyond Qatar to the people of the region.
ANDERSON (voice over): The world's biggest party has now arrived in the Middle East. There are questions lingering over whether the legacy of this
tournament will be long term reform? But for now, hundreds of thousands of football fans here and millions around the world have a month to celebrate
the beautiful game and all it has to offer.
ANDERSON: Well, let's speak with one of the people who have been involved in this event organizing the giant event.
ANDERSON: Fatma Al Nuaimi is the Spokesperson for the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. It's great to have you here tonight. I want to start
by saying congratulations on putting this on. It's been 12 years in the making.
There are lots and lots and lots of fans behind this. They've been making folks an awful lot of noise on what is effectively the first big day of
football here? How does it feel to have the first World Cup here in the Middle East?
FATMA AL NUAIMI, SPOKESPERSON, QATAR 2022 SUPREME COMMITTEE: For me actually, I can't describe my feeling. I mean, being part of the organizing
and working on this project for the last 10 years and also as a Qatari.
I mean yesterday with the opening ceremony. I mean, it was indescribable feeling there is a moment of national pride, there is a moment of seeing
it's actually happening. So now the football the world is here, the fans, so everything is great. And, you know, everyone, I'm hoping they're
enjoying their time here.
ANDERSON: Disappointed that, for example, the BBC didn't take that opening ceremony, their own protests about issues here?
NUAIMI: For me, I mean, like, it is a disappointing and you can see actually a lot of actually online on social media, and a lot of people were
unhappy from UK with that decision. But for us, I mean, it's happened, it's there. And I think everybody actually enjoyed.
And you can see actually it was trending number one in a lot of actually countries around the world, the opening ceremony and how actually people
applauds how it happened and how it was reflecting the region and Qatar?
ANDERSON: Competition and controversy and we're going to talk about the Qatari performance on the pitch a little later on because I know you're
going to tell me they can do better and this isn't a bad team. They won the Asian Cup not so good last night, but we'll get to that.
I want to get to today's news England and other European nations deciding not to wear the "onelove" armband after a route with FIFA. The English FA
Fatma has said and I quote here, we were prepared to pay fines. However, we cannot put our players in the situation where they might be booked or even
forced to leave the field of play.
I want to ask you directly were there any pressure from the Organizing Committee or as you understand it, the authorities here on that decision?
NUAIMI: For us everything that happening on the pitch, it's FIFA matter. And for us I mean, like there's nothing to comment about. I think it's
between the Federations and the teams and FIFA directly.
ANDERSON: Is there all of - or there certainly has been much discussion about keeping fans safe here. And the authorities here have said all fans
will be safe, including those who are LGBTQ Plus. How you are going to ensure people are safe?
NUAIMI: First of all, I have been always been saying for the last 12 years that everybody's welcome, regardless of their religion, their race, their
orientation. And you can see I mean, the tournament is happening and a lot of actually fans have flew here and they're here, whether they're the FIFA
fan first are actually attending the stadium.
Yesterday in the opening ceremony, we have actually attendance of 67,000 fans were at the stadium. We also have today, which is nearly a full
stadium between Wales and sort of between England and Iran. And we're going to see - like with the upcoming matches.
For us we have been always saying everybody's welcome and yesterday as well, His Highness in his speech have as well mentioned that I would like
to reiterate his sentiment.
ANDERSON: We saw two examples of protests today. We had the England team taking the knee, and also the Iran team and a lot of their fans not singing
the national anthem in support of the protesters back home. You as an Organizing Committee are or have been happy to see that kind of protests at
this tournament. Was that something that you had factored in?
NUAIMI: First, I mean, look, we don't have any influence on what happened there in the stadium. I mean, like fans, they can actually express the way
that they would love or they would want. And the World Cup would you would always see that it's a platform where people would be expressing their
values or beliefs and they will be using them in such a platform whether for people to protest or to actually share a message that they would like?
ANDERSON: Qatar today, assuring FIFA, it will continue with its workers compensation fund. The FIFA President Gianni Infantino says he appreciates
those guarantees. I have to ask it has been part of the process in getting migrant workers' rights in place here.
ANDERSON: I have to ask, there's been part of the process in getting migrant workers' rights in place here. There has been a lot of improvement
as the preparation for this tournament has gone on. Are you confident those labor laws will be in place when this World Cup is over, what's the legacy
NUAIMI: First, I mean, like you've seen all the development that happening across this 10 years, when it comes to the legal reforms that happened on
the benefits of the workers like the abolishing of the Kafala Law, introducing non-discretionary new minimum wage. All of these actually have
been worked to the benefits of the workers.
And I would like to actually mention this is didn't happen because of the World Cup and it will not stop after the World Cup. All of this is actually
part of the national vision that we have 2030, which was launched in 2008, even before we bid and won the World Cup.
And for us, I mean, like this is actually one of the pillars or the topic in our vision that the leadership has actually focused on to ensure that is
actually happening, the World Cup hope in accelerating that in this time span of 10 years. And it would actually - would be the tools, social legacy
that will leave after the tournament and would continue beyond that.
ANDERSON: Fatma, getting a competition like this off the ground is never easy. I know how tough it has been here. I've been in and out of the
country now, over the last decade and I've seen the preparations for this as somebody who's been involved for almost the entire time, when you
reflect on what's been achieved. How are you feeling?
NUAIMI: For me, I mean, I know I mean, like, since we won the World Cup, there has been a lot of criticism. And some of them were justified and fair
and some of them were not. But what we have done is actually to focus on delivering this tournament in a way that is well-organized where fans
actually can enjoy.
Especially that this tournament is like the first big tournament where after COVID, where a lot of fans from around the world can actually come
and enjoy. So first, I mean, like, it is a moment of pride. I mean, when we opened the FIFA Fan Fest few days ago and yesterday in the opening
ceremony, I really get emotional seeing actually the World Cup is happening and everybody's here enjoying their time. And for us, I mean, like this is
what mattered to us.
ANDERSON: I know you've been fully focused on ensuring that this competition gets off the ground, the Qatar team played yesterday. They can
do better. How did you feel watching them?
NUAIMI: Listen, no, actually, a fan would like to see their team lose. But for us, I mean, like there are still two more games and we're hoping I
mean, like they will do well, so all of us, I mean, like here in Qataris and even like the residents of Qatar who actually chose Qatar to be their
home. We need to support them.
And we were actually hoping to, for them, I mean, and especially like they are the champions of Asia, they have been actually doing well when they
actually played in the CONCACAF and the Gold Cup. And we've seen like how they actually their performance were amazing. And for us, I mean, I'm
hoping and then it's still games.
ANDERSON: Listen, you've had a lot of pressure on you over the past decade. Those 11 players, plus, plus, for those who came on last night will have
had an awful lot of pressure on them last night. I think for everybody watching we all hope their performance is better in the games to come.
We wish you the best. And we thank you for accommodating us here as we get this tournament underway, Fatma, thank you.
NUAIMI: Thank you so much.
ANDERSON: Well, just a hedge away from Qatar and there's a lot more from here coming up. But we've got to do the other news for you; Tehran appears
to be cracking down even harder on protesters as security forces sweep through parts of Iran's Kurdish region, that story is coming up after this.
ANDERSON: Significantly increased brutality that is what we are hearing from a human rights group as Iran's crackdown on protesters appears to be
escalating. The Hengaw Association or Organization for Human rights tells us this video shows Iranian forces firing in the Kurdish city of Javanroud.
It's one of several areas rising up in support of Mahabad in western Iran, which is said to be under attack by regime forces. Well, an Iranian
Kurdistan group says Tehran is also targeting an opposition group near Iraq's northern Kurdish regional capital of Erbil.
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joining us live from Istanbul in neighboring Turkey. You have been reporting on these protests from the outset, it is disturbing
to have seen this up-tech. What do we know of the details at this point?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of concern right now Becky about what is going on in the Kurdish region of Iran in the western part of the
country. Now what we've seen happening over the past week is this new wave of protests that erupted across the country. Many of these demonstrations
have been taking place in Kurdish cities, towns and villages across that region.
And activist and human rights monitor Hengaw are telling us that they have seen the crackdown, they are intensifying in recent days. And as you
mentioned earlier brutality significantly is increasing by regime forces. They're saying that they have been shooting directly and deliberately at
protesters, they have been shooting into people's homes.
And according to Hengaw, they say they documented the killings of at least 42 people since last Houston. In the past 24 hours, they say more than a
dozen people have been killed so far. But the number Becky could be much higher than that. They're saying the internet restrictions, the internet
shutdown in the Kurdish area is making it very hard for them to get up to date information and to get video and more from people on the ground on
what's happening with their thing.
The situation is very critical in the town of Javanroud right now, where they say that there is a desperate need for blood donations. This is the
latest information they have because of the rising number of casualties. The Iranian regime for its part Becky has been describing what is going on
in that region as a separatist terrorist movement.
They have deployed more forces into western Iran into the Kurdish region to they say to confront these terrorists and separatists and also at the same
time launching attacks yet again, into northern Iraq, semi-autonomous Kurdish region targeting Iranian Kurdish opposition groups there with
attacks using missiles and drones.
So really the regime pushing this narrative that we have been hearing for weeks right now, but this is a separatist movement and a terrorist
movement. So there's a lot of concern about what might be unfolding in the coming hours and days in the Kurdish region. Becky?
ANDERSON: Thank you, Jomana. And viewers do stay tuned for an exclusive report, releasing today on Amanpour. Nima Elbagir reports on the brave
Iranian women and men exposing a pattern of repression. They say some security forces at detention centers in Iran are sexually assaulting and
raping protesters. Here is a brief excerpt of Nima's reporting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIMA ELBAGIR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: This is Hannah, not her real name, a Kurdish Iranian woman recently smuggled out of
Iran. She fears for her life. After taking off and burning her headscarf on the streets she was arrested and detained by Iranian intelligence officers.
ELBAGIR (voice over): They choose the women who were pretty and suited their appetite. Then the officer would take one of them from the cell to a
smaller private room. They would sexually assault them there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, tune into Amanpour at 1pm Eastern 6 pm in London or at the times that you will work out locally wherever you are watching in the world
for that exclusive report. We are awaiting an update from the U.S. state of Colorado, where investigators are looking into a deadly shooting at an
LGBTQ nightclub over the weekend.
Five people were killed more than two dozen were injured when a gunman entered the club and started shooting late on Saturday. Police say the
attacker might have done even more damage but two heroic people inside the club were able to restrain him.
While the club's owners say the shooter was heavily armed and wearing a military style flak jacket when he entered the building with "Tremendous
firepower". We are also starting to learn a little more about the victims of this attack. One of them was a 28 year old transgender man named Daniel
Astin, who was a bartender and performer at Club who people who knew him said he was always eager to make people laugh.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL ANDERSON, CLUB Q BARTENDER: He's always been a friend to me, but he was my supervisor at Club Q. He was the bar supervisor and he was the best
supervisor anybody could have asked for. He made me want to come into work and he made me want to you know just be a part of the positive culture we
were trying to create there. He is amazing person. He was a light in my life and it's still so surreal that we're even talking about him in the
past tense like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, let's get you to CNN's Rosa Flores who is in Colorado Springs in Colorado. Rosa, we are learning more about the victims as we are
a little more about the shooter. What are the details at this point?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, we just heard from the Colorado Springs police chief and he says that the suspect is still in custody. He's
still in the hospital, but he hasn't been booked yet. And he also said and described the type of weapons that he carried into Club Q. The police chief
is saying that he carried an AR style long gun and also a handgun. Now this case according to the district attorney is being investigated through the
lens of a hate crime.
FLORES (voice over): Colorado Springs grieving after police say a gunman stormed one of the only LGBTQ clubs in the community.
ADRIAN VASQUEZ, COLORADO SPRINGS POLICE CHIEF: The motive of the crime is part of the investigation and whether this was a hate crime is part of that
FLORES (voice over): The club writing in a statement Club Q is in shock and indeed mourning. We condemn the horrific violence that shattered an evening
of celebration for all in the LGBTQ community of Colorado Springs and our allies. The shooting lasted only minutes, with police detaining the suspect
shortly after the first 911 call. Police have identified the suspected shooter as 22 year old Anderson Lee Aldrich. Police say he entered the club
just before midnight on Saturday and began shooting immediately with a long rifle. Two weapons were found at the scene.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At least one possibly two very heroic individuals whose subdued this guy appears to have taken his hand gun he had the handgun with
him and used it to disable him. But for that, as tragic as this incident is, it's a horrible crime. It could have been much, much worse.
FLORES (voice over): And now more details are emerging about the suspected shooter including a 2021 arrest for felony menacing and first degree
kidnapping according to a news release at the time, after his mother says he threatened her with a homemade bomb and other weapons.
JARED POLIS, COLORADO GOVERNOR: This is an act of evil a horrific act. A Colorado is strong or resilient. But this is really a time of need for so
many people that were directly affected by this.
FLORES (voice over): This shooting has left the LGBTQ community here devastated.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For a lot of people like myself, we don't have family, so LGBTQ people really need somewhere that is a safe space and Club Q gave
that to us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My hopes is that we do we come out strong from this. You know, we show the communities that don't want LGBTQ people to be out and
about. We show them that we are here; we aren't going and hiding in a hole. We are staying strong and we are continuing to fight for and we don't give
FLORES: Now according to the police chief, the alleged shooter has not made any statements to police and that his mother has not been co-operative. And
Becky we're expecting a press conference in the next few hours and hoping to learn more about what police know and what they're hoping to find out.
ANDERSON: Rosa Flores is in Colorado, Rosa, thank you. We will be right back after this short break. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIDIER DROGBA, IVORIAN RETIRED PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLER: I think the best memory we had was, when we first qualify for the World Cup, it was a
difficult situation for the country, the country was divided and people were not talking to each other and us players were together. It's like the
kids were showing to the elders what to do, how to live together and we're showing them what we really wanted. And that's how this piece message came
It means everything you know to be in a peaceful country because when you're playing abroad, there's some trouble in the country. Your mind is
not there. So it's it can be difficult. So I'm really happy what's happening now in the country and that we are looking toward developments
and we're continuing to develop as a country and people are living together and that's the most important thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Didier Drogba there. Hello and welcome back to this special edition of "Connect the World". I'm Becky Anderson and we are here live in
Doha where the Middle East for the first time is hosting the FIFA World Cup. And that was former Ivory Coast player Didier Drogba sharing his
memories of the tournament with me.
Last week he won the inaugural, CNN off the Pitch award, a prize for those players who contribute to their communities and to charity. Stay tuned
always, we'll have a lot more of the legends of the game giving us their unique insight into what is one of the biggest if not the biggest shows on
earth, that being this festival of football.
Well last hour in Doha, England scored a six to victory against Iran. But it's not just the game that has fans talking. Both sides in that game made
political statements just before kick-off. Don Riddell takes a closer look at the match and the politics surrounding it.
DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Of course, England going to the semi-finals in the World Cup in Russia four years ago, they want to go further than
that this time. And they really couldn't have asked for a better start. They took control in this game, pretty early on, Jude Bellingham who's just
19 years of age, his first international goal will be memorable and that really set England up, they were dominating this game by halftime, there
was a terrific atmosphere.
The atmosphere, though, really subsided in the second half because it was over as a contest. Iran got themselves a couple of constellation goals. But
they were well beaten. And that now means that in this World Cup, the two most local teams have played in the first two games Qatar, of course, the
host, Iran, coming from just over the Persian Gulf.
Both those teams have been completely outplayed. As you say, this game was highly anticipated not just for the action on the field, but of all the
other drama and the narratives that were going on around it. Let's talk about England first. Of course, Premier League players are known to take
the knee occasionally before games, they decided to do it as a team here today as a message of inclusivity.
And the relevance of them doing that in Qatar, where human rights and civil rights are often denied, cannot be understated that they did that here
today. Of course, you've got the Iran team playing against the backdrop of the demonstrations and the protests that have been going on Iran now into
their third month; the response from the government has been brutal, violent, and deadly.
We saw some Iran fans here before the game, wearing protest T-shirts, Freedom T- shirts, a lot of those fans didn't want to speak to us, they
really did not want to speak to us at all. But we managed to speak to a couple of fans who were born in Iran and now live in California. And this
is what they had to say about how they feel about what's going on and why they were wearing the T-shirts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The message is very simple. So people of Iran, we are supporting people of Iran freedom. So we want to be a voice of the Iranians
in the World Cup. So this is not about soccer team this year. This is about freedom for you. So that's what we are gathering here to supporting you
know they're killing our people in Iran.
They're killing like youngsters, the kids, you know, so but this time is going to be different. I have a message for them. This time is not going to
be like either time, this time the whole Iran is united. So this is going to be different. Already three years of dictatorship ends. This you guys
got to go. This is time to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIDDELL: Those supporters told me before the game that they were hoping that the players would show a sign that they were in solidarity with the
protesters, they said that would begin with them not singing the anthem. And that's exactly what happened.
The players did not sing the anthem and the Iranian fans that are near us were jubilant. They were cheering throughout the national anthem as their
players refused to sing it, they might have lost the game heavily. But I think for a lot of the fans here that was a win.
ANDERSON: Well, that was Don Riddell who was out that match. The fans have come to Qatar from all over the world to cheer on their country's team,
have a look at this. Well, those fans were ecstatic that their Ecuador team beat hosts Qatar to nil on Sunday.
I'm going to see a lot more of that folks beyond the final on December the 18th. Well, I'm joined now by some of the fans. I've got Andres - who is an
Ecuador fan who was at the game the other night. And my two friends here from Saudi who have yet to play. Argentina, Mexico, and Poland, I have to
say good luck on that. I'm going to come to you guys shortly.
Tell me so you were at the game last night. What were your expectations going on, going in? And did you enjoy it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am enjoying because this is my first time on I work off. If our way in the - win, I saw copies of --.
ANDERSON: Amazing. What did you think of the Ecuador team's performance?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will win to similar and maybe we met with Homeland.
ANDERSON: Yes, that's right. We've got Senegal, Holland, who are in that same group as you're playing as we speak. It's nil, nil. So I'm assuming
you go to the next few matches.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
ANDERSON: Excellent. Well, Andres is in Qatar with his Azar, my friends from Saudi. Hey, you're looking forward to that first game sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, tomorrow inshallah, we will attend and inshallah, we will do a good performance.
ANDERSON: OK, you're talking about inshallah beating the Argentinians. Let's be quite clear about this. The Argentinians and the Brazilians are
favorites to win this tournament. How do you really think the Saudis will perform?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we will. I think - will do our best. And yes, they are good. And of course there is Mercy and we will do our best.
ANDERSON: You're looking forward to seeing Mercy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes sure. Mercy, I think he's looking forward to see us.
ANDERSON: Are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
ANDERSON: Mercy is looking forward to seeing; maybe the Saudi fans if not the Saudi team listen, the very best of luck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
ANDERSON: You've come in from Saudi which of course is just across the border. How long have you here for?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What, what is it?
ANDERSON: How long will you be in Qatar?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I'll be for a week inshallah. And we will attend the match tomorrow and we will attend Poland. And I think we'll take
ANDERSON: Excellent. And after that if the Saudis gets through, you will stay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I will stay.
ANDERSON: Well, let's see. We wish you the best.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Whatever happens, great to have you on Andres? I'm sure you're already enjoying it here after the two nil victory, of course, over the
hosts. Still to come on "Connect the World" you could call it Football diplomacy. World Cup fans take part in the first ever airplane flight
between Israel and Qatar and a new twist at Disney. They didn't see it coming. But investors seem to like it. I'll explain all just ahead.
ANDERSON: And a surprise move, Bob Iger is returning to run Disney and the current CEO Bob Chapek is stepping down immediately. Now no official reason
has been given, but Chapek's management has been criticized of ladies on the, he's the one on the right. Disney says Iger will serve as CEO for just
two years to help turn things around and will ultimately help choose his successor.
Iger previously led the company for 15 years and oversaw the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel and of Lucasfilm which brought me Star Wars franchise to
Disney. CNN's Matt Egan is live from New York. And as there is no detail on why this move has come about there is an awful lot of speculation. Reading
between the lines sir and knowing the media landscape as you do, why is this happening now?
MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Becky, I think it's safe to say that the Disney board had ran out of patience with Bob Chapek. I mean, the Chapek
era was turbulent, some of it through no fault of his own right, he had to deal with COVID and he's dealing with all this turmoil in the media
And now recession fears some of it though, is Disney specific. There were some PR stumbles under Chapek, the stock has underperformed since he became
CEO in February 2020. And just two weeks ago, Disney unnerved investors by revealing mounting losses in its streaming division.
Here's how the Disney Chair Susan Arnold explained it last night in the press statement it came out. She said "The board has concluded that as
Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely situated to lead the company through
this pivotal period".
So in other words, the board decided that they want to ride out this storm in the media industry by going to a trusted hand. And it really doesn't get
any more trusted than Bob Iger. I mean, he is a legendary CEO. He's one of the most successful of his time and he did build Disney into a media
He's the one who went out and acquired Pixar and Marvel, Lucasfilm's 21st Century Fox. He also launched Disney Plus. And as you can see, Wall Street
is loving this CEO change the stock down 40 percent on the year coming into today, but up 7 percent on this news.
It is a surprise though, I mean, even Iger himself had been dismissive of this idea of him returning to Disney. Listen to what he told Kara Swisher
back in January.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARA SWISHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But one of the things that CNBC polled 10 media executives anonymously about their 2022 predictions and one was that
you'll return to Disney.
BOB IGER, FORMER DISNEY CEO: As what?
SWISHER: A Mickey Mouse character. There are rumors that you become Disney CEO.
IGER: That's ridiculous.
IGER: I was CEO for a long time. He can't go home again. I'm gone.
SWISHER: Really? It's happened before Starbucks?
IGER: I gave my I.D. up, my name tag up.
IGER: My office, my email address, it's all gone. I think if I wanted to run a company, I'd still be running Disney. No, no, I did that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
EGAN: And now he's doing it again. Of course, he's going to face a totally different set of challenges. First, he's got to write the ship at Disney,
figure out how to grow streaming sustainably without losing so much money, too. He's got to find and groom a successor, Iger, 71 years old, he's
signing a two year contract and finding a permanent replacement may not be easy, as we've seen from the last two years.
ANDERSON: Yep, I mean, it's really interesting to see the response of Wall Street, isn't it with that stock up some 7 percent. As you rightly pointed
out, it's been down as low as some 40 percent. I mean, this media environment isn't easy. No, no board, no leader is finding things easy out
there at present. So it'll be interesting to see what will happen in Iger's reign 2.0.
You're pointing out where some of his priorities may lie; we will wait to see what happens. Thank you, Matt. There is some other news outside of the
World Cup here in Qatar, Doha strengthening its ties with Asia. QatarEnergy has signed a 27 year deal to supply China's Sinopec with liquefied natural
gas, that's LNG, calling it the longest gas supply agreement in the history of the LNG industry.
This is following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. And this is because competition for LNG has become so intense. The CEO of QatarEnergy talking
exclusively to CNN says and I quote, "There is a limited amount of natural gas available in the world and only a few companies have been planning and
investing heavily enough in LNG to substantially contribute to global energy security".
QatarEnergy is proud to be one of them. This monumental bill will be mutually beneficial for the people of both nations for many years to come.
And when we say many, we are talking 27 years. Up next, how the World Cup is bringing Israel and Qatar closer together, stay with us.
ANDERSON: Welcome back, you join us here in Doha for what is a special edition of "Connect the World". The decision to allow Qatar to host the
2022 World Cup has been filled with controversy; one that has gotten relatively little attention is that Qatar has no formal diplomatic
relations with Israel.
Even taking a direct air flight from Israel to Qatar has been impossible until now. That is the first ever flight between the countries took off on
Sunday. And CNN's Hadas Gold was there.
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): They've got their luggage, passports, tickets and ball. These 180 soccer fans made history on Sunday,
taking the first ever direct flight between Tel Aviv, Israel and Doha, Qatar, as part of specially arranged flights for the World Cup.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Historic, we didn't expect that.
GOLD (voice over): Qatar and Israel have no diplomatic relations, but as part of a deal with FIFA Israelis with tickets can enter the country. And a
series of special direct charter flights were drawn up on the condition they include Palestinians as well.
GOLD (on camera): Israelis have never before been allowed to travel direct from Tel Aviv to Doha and enter Qatar on their Israeli passports. And
Palestinians from the occupied territories typically need very difficult to obtain special permission in order to be able to fly out of this Ben Gurion
Airport. Usually they fly from Amman, a journey that can take several hours and several checkpoints.
GOLD (voice over): But for Palestinian fans with World Cup tickets, the process is easier. On the inaugural flight most passengers have Israeli
passports, but they hope the beautiful game will triumph over politics.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't mix politics with their soccer and you know you'll get now the people the local one.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm feeling great, especially since we are going to meet people from all the countries. We feel delighted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are the same. This radio labs to Palestinians from the West Bank and the Jews, as all the people must be united at the same
GOLD (voice over): Cyprus-based Tus Airways only received approval for the direct flights in the last few days, and said demand is so high, they're
looking to add extra trips. That could help Palestinian fans since the deal for Palestinians and Israeli to travel together was only announced earlier
MICHA OWSINSKI, TUS AIRWAYS SENIOR COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR: We hope really that it will be a great celebration for soccer and that the Israeli fans here
are Arabs and Jews, Israeli and Palestinians enjoy.
GOLD (voice over): Despite the outpouring of good feelings, Israel is warning its citizens to be on their best behavior with a video message from
Israeli soccer star Tal Ben Haim and advice cards being handed out at check-in.
LIOR HAIAT, ISRAELI HEAD OF THE NATIONAL PUBLIC DIPLOMACY: We don't think that be showing off the Israeli identity will help to them while they're
GOLD (voice over): Qatar is allowing a small Israeli consular team to be in the country to help citizens as Israeli hope this temporary presence will
one day turn permanent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope so, I hope. When it's busy in all the region, it's one step forward for all the people.
GOLD (voice over): But for these fans, their eyes are on the ball.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are we asking political questions right now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe France.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love football.
GOLD (voice over): Hadas Gold, CNN, Tel Aviv.
ANDERSON: Well, if you want to learn more about that historic plane flight, you can or other news of course coming out of the Middle East. Don't forget
to subscribe to our newsletter.
ANDERSON: All the details can be found at cnn.com/Mideast newsletter that is meanwhile in the Middle East. Right, this year's World Cup is a unique
and historic one. It marks the first time the tournament is held in the Middle Eastern Gulf region.
For most football fans in the Arab world, it is really an opportunity to celebrate their love for the beautiful game either at home or close to
home, to give them an opportunity to showcase their cultural heritage to the world for a change to change people's perceptions and quite frankly, to
have a good time.
Well, football is a magnificent force like no other. It has - millions of fans in the Middle East and beyond. Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish wrote
about the significance of the sport in his troubled region saying and I quote, "Soccer is the field of expression".
The game represents a breathing space allowing a splintered homeland and opportunity to join together around something shared. That's a wrap for us
here in Doha tonight at least, "One World" with Zain Asher is up next. And the team here, it's a very good evening.