It’s the biggest sporting event in the world, so understandably millions of people around the world are talking about it. However, not for reasons you might be thinking, which begs the question: Why are celebrities and countries boycotting the FIFA World Cup in Qatar?
In 2022, the football world cup, which takes place every four years, will be hosted by the Arab state of Qatar. The tournament begins on November 20, 2022 and is expected to attract five billion viewers around the world. The current discourse isn’t about football at all, it’s about off-field controversies. Qatar faces increasing criticism for human rights abuses and its treatment of migrant workers, not to mention its stance on homosexuality, which is illegal in Qatar. Qatar is the first Arab nation to host the World Cup, and back in March 2010 five proposed stadiums for the championship were unveiled, built with cooling technology capable of lowering temperatures inside by up to 36 degrees to combat the unrelenting desert heat outside to counteract. The treatment of migrant workers in the construction of these new stadiums has come under scrutiny, which explains why some celebrities and countries are calling for boycotts.
Who is boycotting the World Cup in Qatar?
Who is boycotting the World Cup in Qatar? Shakira was supposed to perform but changed her mind at the last minute. According to Spanish news agency El Programa de Ana Rosa, host Adriana Dorronsoro said: “I have been confirmed that Shakira will not perform at the opening ceremony, but they will not say if she will have a different role during the World Cup.”
Sandra Aladro, another Telecinco program employee, also confirmed the news after speaking to Shakira’s team. They have confirmed that she will not perform,” Aldro said. “She wanted to be a guest actress, now she has to send a statement to explain everything.” The Colombian pop megastar has performed at three previous World Cup opening ceremonies: 2006 (Germany), 2010 (South Africa) and 2014 (Brazil).
Dua Lipa was rumored to be performing at the opening ceremony, but she ended speculation via a series of Instagram Stories. “There is currently a lot of speculation that I will perform at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar,” wrote the British pop star. “I will not perform and have never been involved in negotiations for a performance. I’ll be cheering for England from afar. 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.” Rod Stewart was also offered the opportunity to perform in the Arab nation but turned it down . “I was actually offered a lot of money 15 months ago, over $1 million to play there. I declined. It’s not right to go,” he said Sunday times.
So what are these human rights violations? An investigation of The guard noted that 6,500 migrant workers had died in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup, resulting in $220 billion in nation-building spending. Although the workers’ deaths were not categorized by occupation or place of work, said Nick McGeehan, a director of FairSquare Projects, an advocacy group specializing in labor rights in the Gulf region The guard that “a very large proportion of the migrant workers who have died since 2011 were only in the country because Qatar won the right to host the World Cup,” he said. In 2019, the newspaper revealed that hundreds of workers had died from heat stress from toiling in potentially lethal temperatures, as mercury can reach over 120 degrees on the hottest summer days.
That’s why the pressure is mounting for soccer legend David Beckham to speak out as he inked a lucrative $10 million deal to be the Qatar 2022 World Cup ambassador. “Qatar’s human rights record is worrying, from its long-standing abuse of migrant workers to restrictions on freedom of expression and the criminalization of same-sex relationships,” Amnesty International’s Sacha Deshmukh told the BBC. “It is not surprising that David Beckham would want to attend such a major football event, but we urge him to educate yourself on and be prepared to speak up about the deeply concerning human rights situation in Qatar.”
A spokesman for Beckham told BBC Sport: “David has been visiting Qatar regularly for over a decade and later played for [Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain F.C]- that’s how he saw the passion for football in the country and the long-term commitment that went into hosting the World Cup and leaving a lasting legacy for the region,” they said. “He has always spoken about the power of football as a force for good on many levels. When we get to that point in a year, he will join the wider football community as it gathers together for the 2022 World Cup and he’s looking forward to what he thinks is a great tournament.”
The BBC also quoted a source close to the former Manchester United star as saying that while Beckham believes an Arab nation hosting the World Cup is a great move, he is aware of her stance on the LGBTQ+ community is. “Obviously David wanted to make sure he was aware of the facts and any concerns he might have for his gay friends, football fans and supporters,” they said. “Some of the laws and beliefs in the region differ from his own, but the Qataris have always said everyone will be safe and welcome at the 2022 World Cup and he believes the commitment is genuine and has evidence of being proactive Engagement with the national team seen by the LBGTQ community from the organizers of the World Cup.”
Pansexual British comedian Joe Lycett, in a viral message via website benderslikebeckham.com, urged Beckham to back out of his deal with Qatar. “You’re the first Premiership footballer to shoot with gay magazines like attitudespeaking openly about your gay fans and you married a Spice Girl, which is the gayest thing a person can do,” Lycett said, directing his criticism at the sports star.
Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 will be broadcast on FOX. Here’s how to watch it for free.
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