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Rod Stewart Declined $1 Million to Perform at the 2022 World Cup

Rod Stewart Declined $1 Million to Perform at the 2022 World Cup

In light of the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup, Rod Stewart recently said that he turned down “over $1 million” to play at the event’s opening ceremony in protest of poor human rights conditions in its host country, Qatar.

In a new profile on the singer, The Times‘ Jonathan Dean asked Stewart who he’d be supporting at this year’s World Cup considering his longtime favorite team, Scotland’s Celtic, failed to qualify this time around. Stewart joked that he’d rather support Brazil than any other UK football team, but thankfully, he didn’t seem interested in attending the games either way.

“Supporters have got to watch out, haven’t they?” Stewart said, alluding to Qatar’s distressing history of human trafficking, anti-LGBT laws, and an array of other human rights issues that have seen an uptick in worldwide attention since Qatar was announced as the host of the 2022 World Cup. Dean suggested that Stewart could have played “The Killing of Georgie (Part I and II),” his 1976 song inspired by the murder of a gay friend.

“That would have been good,” Stewart responded. “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.”

Dua Lipa also recently addressed rumors that she would perform at the 2022 World Cup, saying that she was never involved in any negotiation to perform at the opening ceremony, and that she “look[s] forward to visiting Qatar when it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made.” So far, it appears that BTS’ Jungkook is the only confirmed performer at the ceremony.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup begins Sunday, November 20th. See the schedule and find out how to stream the games here. As for Stewart, he recently wrapped up a lengthy North American tour with Cheap Trick.