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Sir Rod Stewart turned down a gig in Qatar even though he was offered more than $1 million.
The 77-year-old rock legend was offered the seven-figure sum to entertain crowds in the Middle East country – which has been chosen to host the upcoming World Cup but has drawn controversy over the decision because homosexuality is illegal there- in 2021 and rejected the lucrative gig because it “wasn’t right” to go.
He told The Sunday Times: “I was actually offered a lot of money, over $1 million, to play there 15 months ago. I turned it down. It’s not right to go. And the Iranians should be out too for supplying arms. Tell you what, supporters have got to watch out, haven’t they?”
The upcoming football tournament will feature performances from the likes of former Take That star Robbie Williams as well as Craig David and Tinie Tempah but pop singer Dua Lipa recently slammed rumours that she would be taking to the stage and vowed never to visit the country until “all human rights” are granted.
She said: “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. 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.”
FIFA has issued a plea to the 32 competing nations to “let football take the stage” at the tournament in Qatar but the England manager Gareth Southgate says it is “highly unlikely” that the team will adhere to the governing body’s request.
He said: “We have always spoken about issues we think should be talked about, particularly the ones we feel we can affect. Contrary to one or two observations in the last few weeks, we have spoken in the same way other nations have spoken about this tournament, the human rights challenges. We’ve been very clear on our standpoint on that. So, look I think we would like to focus primarily on the football. For every player, every coach and everybody travelling to a World Cup, this is a carnival of football. So 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. We understand the challenges this tournament brings within that, If it wasn’t for the strength of that community, we wouldn’t be women’s European champions. So it’s very, very important to us.”