In light of the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup, Rod Stewart recently said he refused “more than a million dollars” to play in the event’s opening ceremony in protest of the poor human rights conditions in the host country, Qatar.
In a new profile of the singer, times’ Jonathan asked Dean Stewart who he would support at this year’s World Cup given that his long-time favorite, Celtic, failed to qualify this time around. Stewart joked that he’d rather support Brazil than any other British football team, but thankfully, he doesn’t seem interested in attending matches either way.
“The backers should pay attention, right?” Stewart said, referring to Qatar’s painful history of human trafficking, anti-gay laws, and a host of other human rights issues that have seen a slight increase in global attention since it was announced that Qatar would host the 2022 World Cup. Dean suggested Stewart could have played “murder”. Georgie (parts one and two),” his 1976 song inspired by the murder of a gay friend.
“That would have been fine,” Stewart replied. “I was actually offered a lot of money, over a million dollars, to play there 15 months ago. I turned it down… It’s not right to go. And the Iranians should be out too for the arms supply.”
Dua Lipa also recently Rumor processing that she will perform at the 2022 World Cup, saying she was never involved in any negotiations to present at the opening ceremony, and that she “looks[s] to visit Qatar after fulfilling all the human rights pledges she made.” So far, BTS’ Jungkook appears to be the only confirmed performer at the concert.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off on Sunday 20 November. Check the schedule and learn how to stream games here. As for Stewart, he recently wrapped up a long tour of North America with the Cheap Trick.