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Artists turn down Qatar World Cup appearances over human rights issues

Featured image credit: Joe Bielawa/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

British singer Rod Stewart (pictured) turned down over $1m (£845,000/€966,000) to perform at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, joining the likes of Dua Lipa who has also said she will not perform at the tournament. 

The rejections from artists add to the criticism of the tournament in Qatar, with many angered by the decision to hold the World Cup in the country due to its human rights violations.

A spotlight has been shone on the discrimination against women and LGBTQ+ people and the number of deaths of migrant workers on construction sites, building the infrastructure for the World Cup.

Stewart told The Times that he was offered a “lot of money” to play in Qatar, but opted to turn it down as “it’s not right to go”.

British singer Dua Lipa also rejected claims that she would be performing at the World Cup, which kicks off this weekend.

She said in a post on her Instagram story that she will “look forward to visiting Qatar when it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made” when it was made World Cup host.

Lipa added: “There is currently a lot of speculation that I will be performing at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar. I will not be performing and nor have I ever been involved in any negotiation to perform.

“I will be cheering England on from afar… One love, Dua.”