Dua Lipa denies rumoured World Cup performance, calls out Qatar’s human rights record

Dua Lipa has dismissed speculation that she will be performing at the World Cup in Qatar, citing the country’s unfulfilled human rights pledges as reason for her non-attendance.

Taking to Instagram over the weekend, Dua Lipa shared her thoughts on her rumoured involvement in the football tournament’s opening ceremony, which is set to commence on November 20. “There is currently a lot of speculation that I will be performing at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar,” the singer wrote, before criticising the country’s human rights record.

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 and I look forward to visiting Qatar when it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host.” The singer’s comments come amid a flurry of criticisms levelled at the host country in the lead-up to the world cup, with many taking particular aim at Qatar’s stance on same-sex marriage and its treatment of migrant workers. 

Credit: Guillermo Legaria / Getty Images

Earlier this month, an ambassador for the World Cup described homosexuality — which is illegal in Qatar — as a “damage in the mind” and a “spiritual harm” during an interview with a German radio network. Meanwhile, pockets of protests have sprung up in Qatar in the years since they were awarded the World Cup in 2010, as workers involved in stadium construction have claimed they’ve gone months without proper pay. 

Late last month, Australian football team the Socceroos were among the first World Cup participants to respond to Qatar’s human rights record, releasing a video message in which 16 players read lines from a collective statement. It marked the first unified response from a World Cup team, and preceded a statement from Football Australia which declared that the treatment of “migrant workers and their families…cannot be ignored.”  

Lipa’s comments on the global tournament come as fellow pop star, Robbie Williams faces criticism for his upcoming performance in Qatar. Although he’s not performing under the World Cup banner, Williams is slated to appear as part of the country’s Qatar Live concert series in December, which coincides with the runtime of the football tournament. Lipa, meanwhile, is currently in the midst of the Australian leg of her ‘Future Nostalgia’ world tour, with two shows scheduled for Adelaide and Perth this week.