Rod Stewart refused £1million to perform at Qatar World Cup due to country's human rights record

14 November 2022, 16:08

Rod Stewart performing in 2022
Rod Stewart performing in 2022. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Sir Rod Stewart has revealed that he turned down nearly £1 million to perform at the World Cup in Qatar, because “it’s not right”.

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The 2022 World Cup kicks off on Sunday (November 20) in Doha, but organisers FIFA have continued to face ongoing criticisms about the tournament.

This is due to the death of migrant workers when creating the stadiums, as well as the country’s views on homosexuality, which is illegal in Qatar.

When singer Dua Lipa denied rumours that she was to perform at the opening ceremony, and called for Qatar to “fulfil all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host the World Cup,” Rod Stewart has now revealed that he also turned down the chance to appear.

Sir Rod Stewart gives encouraging talk to football team before match

“I was actually offered a lot of money, over $1m, to play there 15 months ago,” Rod told The Sunday Times.

“I turned it down. It’s not right to go. And the Iranians should be out too for supplying arms.”

Rod Stewart is a passionate football fan, though his beloved Scotland did not qualify for the 2022 World Cup.

England manager Gareth Southgate has said that his players will speak out about human rights abuses during the tournament, saying: “We have always spoken about issues we think should be talked about, particularly the ones we feel we can affect.

“Regarding the LGBT community, we stand for inclusivity and we are very, very strong on that. We think that is important in terms of all our supporters."