Search icon


14th Nov 2022

Rod Stewart turned down ‘over $1,000,000’ to play in Qatar

Charlie Herbert

‘It’s not right to go’

Sir Rod Stewart has revealed that he turned down “over $1 million” to perform as part of the Qatar World Cup because “it’s not right.”

The most controversial World Cup ever kicks off on Sunday (November 20) in Doha, with Qatar’s human rights record having been under intense scrutiny since it was awarded the tournament in 2010.

The country has faced huge criticism in particular for its stance on same-sex relationships and treatment of migrant workers, and this is only growing as the tournament gets closer.

Music legend Sir Rod Stewart has now revealed that he turned down a huge payday offered to him by the Qataris to perform at the event.

He explained that he turned down the offer for moral reasons and suggested that Iran should not be allowed to participate at the tournament.

“I was actually offered a lot of money, over $1m, to play there 15 months ago,” he told The Sunday Times.

“I turned it down,” he continued. “It’s not right to go. And the Iranians should be out too for supplying arms.”

The news comes after Dua Lipa addressed rumours that she would be performing at the opening ceremony of the tournament on Sunday.

The ‘New Rules’ singer rubbished speculation, saying that she would only visit the Middle Eastern country once it has “fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host the World Cup”.

With the World Cup less than a week away now, all eyes are turning to the Middle East.

In recent days, FIFA has urged teams at the tournament to “focus on football” rather than discussing human rights issues.

But it seems unlikely that many will listen to this message. Gareth Southgate has already promised that England players will speak out about human rights abuses at the tournament.

Speaking after announcing his 26-man squad for the tournament, he said: “We have always spoken about issues we think should be talked about, particularly the ones we feel we can affect.”

“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.”

On Sunday, Portugal and Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes said that players were “not happy at all” about the circumstances surrounding the World Cup in Qatar.

Meanwhile, teams such as Denmark and Australia have been vocal in their protests against Qatar and its human rights record.

And the likes of Gary Neville and David Beckham have come under fire for their decisions to work with the Qataris for the tournament.

Related links: