Dua Lipa hits out at Qatar’s human rights record in World Cup opening ceremony denial

Dua Lipa hits out at Qatar’s human rights record in World Cup opening ceremony denial

Dua Lipa has denied reports she is set to perform at the World Cup 2022 opening ceremony, insisting she will not visit host nation Qatar until their human rights record improves.

The tournament kicks off a week today and the English artist had been rumoured as performing at the traditional curtain-raiser, along with the likes of World Cup regular Shakira and K-pop superstars BTS.

Qatar’s record on LGBTQ and women's rights, along with its treatment of foreign workers who helped build the tournament stadia, has long been under the spotlight. This week a World Cup ambassador described homosexuality, which is illegal in the host nation, as "damage in the mind".

Days earlier a FIFA letter to the member associations asked countries not to talk politics, and rather focus on the football. Speaking to reporters at England's squad announcement, manager Gareth Southgate, who referenced the impact of the gay players in the Lionesses’ Euro 2021-winning squad over the summer, said it was “highly unlikely” the England group would be following the guidance.

Dua Lipa has now highlighted her own opposition, writing on Instagram: "There is 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 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 World Cup."