In case anyone was raising eyebrows or questions, Dua Lipa has now made it very clear: She will not be performing in the 2022 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony. Rumors had been circulating that she would partner with Jung Kook of BTS in the lineup, but in a statement posted to her Instagram story, the pop singer put a firm stop to these. She acknowledged the “speculation,” but then stated, “I will not be performing and nor have I ever been involved in any negotiation to perform. I 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.”
Homosexuality and queerness is illegal in the country, with a FIFA Qatar World Cup Ambassador calling it “a damage in the mind,” and stipulating that queer people would be allowed to visit the country, but would have to abide by their rules. Additionally, extramarital sex is criminalized, making one liable for jail time, with women often bearing the brunt of this due to pregnancy being considered “evidence.” FIFA told Human Rights Watch, “FIFA is confident that women will have full access to medical care, including any care connected with a possible pregnancy, regardless of circumstances and without questions asked about marital status.” They also added, “FIFA has been assured that women reporting rape or other forms of abuse will not face any questions or accusations regarding possible consensual extramarital sexual relationships and should not fear repercussions of any form on that basis.”
Listen to a 2016 Dua Lipa performance from the Paste archives below.