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Rod Stewart rejected a huge offer to perform in Qatar because of human rights issues

Charisa Bossinakis

| Last updated 

Rod Stewart rejected a huge offer to perform in Qatar because of human rights issues

Rod Stewart has revealed he turned USD $1 million (AUD $1.4m or £845,000) to perform in Qatar.

In the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup, the music legend sat down with the Sunday Times and shared that he once rejected the hefty amount to play a show in the Gulf country.

“I was actually offered a lot of money, over $1 million, to play there 15 months ago,” he said.

“I turned it down. It’s not right to go.


"And the Iranians should be out too for supplying arms.”

Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Stewart isn't the only artist who has voiced their opposition for performing in Qatar.

Dua Lipa recently shut down speculation that she was performing in the country for the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony.


She shared a message to her followers on Instagram: "There is currently 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."

Comedian Joe Lycett has also threatened to shred £10,000 (AUD $17,601 or USD $11,784) if David Beckham continues his lucrative £10 million (AUD $17.6m or USD $11.7m) partnership with the tournament.


The Brit said in a video posted on Twitter: “This is a message to David Beckham. I consider you, along with Kim Woodburn and Monty Don, to be a gay icon.


“You're the first premiership footballer to do shoots with gay magazines like Attitude, to speak openly about your gay fans, and you married a Spice Girl, which is the gayest thing a human being can do.”

He continued: "If you end your relationship with Qatar, I'll donate this £10,000 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 benderslikebeckham.com.”

The comedian added that’s it not just his money at stake but also his status as a ‘gay icon’.

The Middle Eastern country has faced heavy scrutiny for its policy around queer people, as under the Penal Code 2004, same-sex couples could face several years of imprisonment.

While the ambassador for the World Cup, Khalid Salman, said that all queer tourists were welcome during the World Cup, fans had to respect the nation’s culture and not engage in public displays of affection.


He told German broadcaster ZDF that homosexuality was ‘damage in the mind’, according to AP News.

Salman added that being gay is ‘haram’, which means ‘unlawful’ or ‘forbidden’ in Arabic, and that he has a problem with children seeing gay people.

LADbible has reached out to FIFA for comment.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo. Shadow of light / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Music, News, World Cup, World News, Celebrity

Charisa Bossinakis
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