Shakira, Dua Lipa among artists who have denied to perform in FIFA World Cup's opening ceremony
With just one day to go for the marquee FIFA World Cup 2022, many global stars including popular artists Shakira and Dua Lipa have refused to perform in the opening ceremony in Qatar. Several musicians have made clear they will not perform, in protest at Doha's human rights records, particularly with regard to LGBT rights.
It has been a tough road for Qatar in hosting the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022, with many countries criticising the decision. Other than accusations of buying votes for their bids, the country also finds itself embroiled in countless human rights issues.
The 27-year-old British star, who has a huge LGBT fanbase, had also been tipped for an appearance, but she shut down the rumours in a post to her 87 million Instagram followers.
"I will not be performing and have not been involved in any negotiations to perform in Qatar," the Levitating singer wrote, adding that she would support England "from afar".
"I look forward to visiting Qatar when it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host," she added.
Meanwhile, Shakira has reportedly turned the proposal down. The opening ceremony for the 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place at the Al-Bayt Stadium in the city of Al-Khor, 50 kilometers away from Doha. The Colombian pop star has previously performed in the opening ceremonies of 2006. 2010, and 2014 versions of the tournament. She was invited to grace the stage this year as well. She was the voice of the 2010 edition in South Africa, alongside local group Freshlyground, for the official theme Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) and performed four years later in Brazil. But her team recently told Spanish news outlets that she would no longer be performing in Qatar, without giving a specific reason.
Rod Stewart was also one of the candidates to perform, but the singer recently explained why he declined the lucrative offer.
"They offered me a huge amount of money, over a million dollars for the performance, but I turned it down because I don't think it's right to go to a country with those ideas and values. I also think the Iranians should also stop supplying them with weapons," Stewart confessed.
The artists who have agreed to perform in Qatar are J Balvin, Robbie Williams, Jason Derulo, Clean Bandit, Sean Paul, Nora Fatehi, Black Eyed Peas, Jungkook of BTS, Nicki Minaj, Maluma and Myriam Fares.
US rapper Lil Baby, who has 32 million monthly listens on Spotify, released one of the official sponsorship songs this year, The World Is Yours to Take, which samples the Tears for Fears classic, Everybody Wants to Rule the World. But he has remained silent on whether he will actually make an appearance in Qatar.
The World Cup is scheduled to begin on November 20, with Qatar facing Ecuador in the opener, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. Also, Lionel Messi's Argentina will begin their campaign on November 22 against Saudi Arabia and Portugal will face Ghana in their opener on November 24.