Dua Lipa and Rod Stewart among stars to snub Qatar as pressure grows on Beckham over World Cup

14 November 2022, 11:53 | Updated: 5 October 2023, 10:18

Dua Lipa and Rod Stewart have joined stars speaking out against the World Cup
Dua Lipa and Rod Stewart have joined stars speaking out against the World Cup. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Daisy Stephens

Dua Lipa and Rod Stewart have both said they are opposed to profiting from Qatar, as pressure grows on David Beckham to cut ties with the country over its human rights abuses and laws on homosexuality ahead of the World Cup.

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In an Instagram story, singer Dua Lipa shot down suggestions she was performing at the tournament and said she would only visit the country "when it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made" when it was announced as host.

Rod Stewart, meanwhile, told The Sunday Times he had turned down a $1m deal because "it's not right to go".

"There is currently a lot of speculation that I will be performing at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar," wrote Dua Lipa.

Read more: England fans paid to 'spy' for Qatar at World Cup

Read more: Three lions ready to roar: Gareth Southgate 's England World Cup squad for Qatar 2022

"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."

Their announcements are piling pressure on David Beckham, who is set to earn up to £150m as an ambassador for the World Cup.

Caller who used to live in Qatar tells LBC she 'couldn't stand it'

Comedian Joe Lycett issued Beckham with an ultimatum if he does not end his multi-million pound deal with Qatar.

Mr Lycett said he will donate £10,000 of his own money to charities supporting gay people involved in football if Beckham agrees to end the deal - but if he doesn't, he says he will shred it.

"This is a message to David Beckham," he said in a video posted to Twitter.

"I consider you, along with Kim Woodburn and Monty Don, to be a gay icon.

"You were the first premiership footballer to do shoots with gay magazines like Attitude, to speak openly about your gay fans... but now it's 2022 and you signed a reported £10m deal with Qatar to be their ambassador during the Fifa World Cup."

He went on: "Qatar was voted as one of the worst places in the world to be gay.

"Homosexuality is illegal, punishable by imprisonment, and if you're Muslin, possibly even death.

"You've always talked about the power of football as a force for good... generally I agree.

"So with that in mind, I'm giving you a choice.

Read more: Homosexuality is 'damage in the mind' and gay visitors 'have to accept our rules', Qatar's World Cup ambassador says

Read more: Prince William 'won't travel to Qatar to watch England in the World Cup' amid concerns over human rights in the country

"If you end your relationship with Qatar, I'll donate this 10 grand of my own money - that's a grand for every million you're reportedly getting - to charities that support queer people in football.

"However, if you do not, at midday next Sunday I will throw this money into a shredder just before the opening ceremony of the World Cup, and stream it live on a website I've registered called benderslikebekham.com.

"Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon, will be shredded."

Mr Lycett said Beckham&squot;s "status as gay icon" will be shredded along with the money
Mr Lycett said Beckham's "status as gay icon" will be shredded along with the money. Picture: Alamy

He said Beckham would be "forcing me to commit a crime" if he did not end the agreement, but said he would likely not be punished as severely as gay people on Qatar are.

"The choice is yours," he said.

"I look forward to hearing from you."

The website has a ticker counting down to the Sunday deadline.

Read more: Keir Starmer will refuse to go to the World Cup in Qatar because of human rights - even if England get to the final

Read more: Gareth Southgate slammed for claiming Qatar workers "united" in wanting World Cup

The World Cup kicks off on Sunday November 20, with England and Wales in group B.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and anyone found participating in same-sex sexual activity can be punished by up to seven years in prison.

Last week Khalid Salman, a Qatari former footballer and World Cup ambassador, said homosexuality is a "damage in the mind" and gay visitors will have to "accept our rules" before being abruptly cut off.

There is also concern about the country's treatment of migrants, after it was reported that 6,500 foreigners had died in Qatar since it was awarded the right to host the World Cup 10 years ago.

A number of key figures including Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer are boycotting the tournament as a result.

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