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Dua Lipa Boycotts the World Cup Opening Ceremony in Qatar

Dua Lipa, among others, condemn and boycott the opening ceremony at the World Cup in Qatar.

Dua Lipa performing
Dua Lipa performing at Campingflight Lowlands Festival in the Netherlands. Image: Ben Houdijk/Shutterstock

Dua Lipa, before the FIFA World Cup, kicked off on the 21st of November, addressed and put a stop to the rumors that she would be performing at the opening ceremony in Qatar.

There have been many debates and concerns over the World Cup being held in Qatar. Due to its laws against the LGBTQ+ community and human rights, many different communities have been very rightly indignant about the choice of location for the World Cup this year.

Qatar and Migrant Workers

“Since 2010, many migrant workers have respectively faced delayed or unpaid wages, forced labour, long hours in hot weather, employer intimidation, and an inability to leave their jobs because of the country’s sponsorship system, human rights organizations have found.”

George Ramsay/CNN

About 90% of the population of Qatar is made up of migrants and they do not get treated with the respect they deserve. As Ramsay, a reporter from CNN said above, they are expected to work long hours in awful heat with little to no pay. When Qatar was announced as the 2022 grounds for the FIFA World Cup, migrant workers were forced to build eight new stadiums, a new metro system, multiple hotels, and many other buildings and facilities needed for this massive worldwide event.

Qatar and Women’s Rights

On top of lacking human rights for the migrant workers, women are also treated deplorably in Qatar:

“Women in Qatar must obtain permission from their male guardians (male family members) to marry, study abroad on government scholarships, work in many government jobs, travel abroad until certain ages, and receive certain reproductive health care.”

Human Rights Watch/

Women’s lives are restricted in multiple ways in Qatar. The female population of Qatar is denied the making of major decisions in their lives due to having to ask their male counterparts or male family members for permission. Adding to this injustice, sex outside of marriage is illegal and could result in up to seven years in prison.

Qatar and LGBTQ+ Rights

One of the most backward laws in Qatar is how homosexuality is illegal. The rest of the world has come so far in accepting and embracing the LGBTQ+ community but Qatar and places like it are only going backward. Fans of the World Cup who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community do not feel safe attending the event because of this. In holding this event in Qatar, FIFA is angering and endangering 50% or more of its fanbase.

“In October, Human Rights Watch published research findings that Qatar Preventive Security Department forces, under the Interior Ministry, had arbitrarily arrested six Qatari LGBT people and subjected them to ill-treatment, including severe beatings and sexual harassment, in detention.”

Human Rights Watch/

Dua Lipa and others

Before the opening ceremony, there were rumors circulating about Dua Lipa performing at the event. However, after posting to her Instagram story, the ‘One Kiss’ star made it abundantly clear that she would not be performing at this event. Lipa, Shakira, Sir Rod Stewart, and Joe Lycett are just a few of the artists who have boycotted and will be boycotting the entire event.

Lycett, the British comedian, issued an ultimatum to David Beckham, who is known as the football gay icon around the world. Lycett stated that if Beckham cut off relations with Qatar and the World Cup, he would donate 10,000 of his own money to charity. However, if he did not, Lycett would shred the 10,000 before the opening ceremony. Lycett ended up donating the money to charity even though Beckam did not pull out, due to Lycett deciding it would be a waste of money that could go to people who need it.

In conclusion, the treatment of migrant workers, women, and the LGBTQ+ community in Qatar is abominable. FIFA should never have agreed to hold their World Cup in that country because in doing so they are endangering the lives of many of their fans. However, I feel as though a little bit of positivity has come out of this.

Many artists, like Dua Lipa who has a huge fanbase, have spoken out against these dehumanizing experiences that many people have gone through in Qatar. The fact that Joe Lycett went through with donating so much of his money to show his support for the LGBTQ+ community and his anger towards the events that have taken place shows that there are people out there who are not willing to take part in these dehumanizing experiences

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