Dua Lipa criticised the Qatari government about human rights violations after rumours she would perform at the World Cup opening ceremony.
In an interview with Variety, she described the tournament as a “unique opportunity to hold Qatar to account,” regarding its human rights record.
The singer referenced the rumours that she would perform in the course of the competition: “I didn’t like being amongst speculation that I was going to perform for something that really goes against my beliefs.”
The 27-year-old spoke out against the failure of Qatar to meet the promises they made about human rights when they were announced as host.
“They made pledges on human rights when they signed the deal for the World Cup that have not been satisfactorily met on migrant workers’ rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and freedom of expression — what kind of message does it send if these pledges mean nothing?” she said.
Human rights have been a controversial topic throughout the tournament.
In the host country, homosexuality is criminalised and punishments can be as severe as the death penalty.
Welsh LGBTQ+ fans have reported being asked to remove rainbow clothing before entering the stadium, with a former women’s captain describing the encounter as “heavy handed.”
This week, a protester jumped onto the pitch during the Portugal versus Uruguay match waving a pride flag.
The ‘Future Nostalgia’ artist has a record of speaking candidly about causes close to her heart, including feminism, LGBTQ+ rights and Kosovo-Albanian relations.
She was the headliner at Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 2020, and has waved Pride flags at her concerts.
She also signed an open letter to the former minister for women and equalities, urging the banning of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ for all LGBTQ+ people.
The singer recently performed with Elton John in his final American concert, at the Dodgers baseball stadium in Los Angeles.
This followed their 2021 collaboration on ‘Cold Heart (Pnau Remix)’, which was the lead single from Sir Elton’s ‘The Lockdown Sessions’ album.
She also spoke of her hope for change in the country: “I really have nothing against Qatar, and I hope one day I will get the chance to go there.”