Qatar’s World Cup opener shows its reemergence after boycott

AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Qatar has opened the Middle East’s first World Cup with its ruler sitting next to the leaders of two countries that only a year and a half earlier were part of a boycott trying to bring the energy-rich nation to its knees. The presence of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi shows how far Qatar has come since the boycott that saw its sole land border and air routes cut off for years as part of a political dispute. But missing were the leaders of the two other nations involved the dispute — Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.