Dua Lipa and Mel C: Every celeb who has spoken out against Qatar hosting the World Cup
‘Qatar, FIFA, the world is watching. Do you see us?’
Billions of people sit down every year to watch the World Cup however this year seems to be a different story given the fact it’s being hosted in Qatar. In case you didn’t know, Qatar is a incredibly strict place and has some of the most strongest anti-LGBTQ+ laws in place. Being queer in Qatar is an illegal, it can lead to being imprisoned or even stoned to death. Yet we’re seeing massive celebrities like David Beckham take on jobs for Qatar in the World Cup and he’s getting called out for it. So here’s a rundown of all the celebrities against the World Cup 2022 being hosted in Qatar.
Over the weekend, comedian Joe Lycett publicly challenged David Beckham to abandon his position as ambassador of the Qatar World Cup. In a video posted to his socials, Joe explained he will donate £10,000 of his own money to charity if David Beckham agrees to walk away from his role. If not, Joe says he will “throw the money into a shredder” during a live stream on Sunday ahead of the World Cup’s opening ceremony.
Recent reports have claimed Dua Lipa will be opening the World Cup with Physical, however Dua Lipa has since spoken out against Qatar’s record on human rights. In a statement posted on her Instagram story, Dua Lipa denied that she will be performing. She said: “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.”
During an appearance on Joe and George Bagg’s podcast, Not My Bagg, Spice Girl Mel C said Qatar’s attitudes towards homosexuality make her “very uncomfortable.”
In an interview with the Daily Mail, she spoke about her bandmate’s husband, David Beckham – who is a paid ambassador for the Qatar World Cup. She said: “It’s difficult. David is a friend, and everybody has to make their own choices. I understand people want to talk about sport being able to change culture, but when there’s so much money involved, it’s tricky.”
Meanwhile, in an interview with Attitude magazine, Mel C called out those working in Qatar during this year’s tournament. She said: “It’s greed. They can try and spin it that they’re there to make change, but it’s bullshit. It’s about money. Obviously I’m a huge England supporter, whatever the gender, but it’s hard to get fully behind it when you know where the money’s coming from.”
Ian Hislop is known for being a regular panellist on BBC’s Have I Got News For You. On 4th November, he called out Gary Neville who was guest hosting in that episode. Gary decided to work as a commentator at the 2022 World Cup, The Independent reported Ian asking Gary “the elephant in the room is still here. You’re commentating there, aren’t you?”
Ian then pointed out Gary had a “choice” whether he wanted to attend or not and then asked his reason for going. Gary said: “My view has always been, you either highlight the issues and challenges in these countries, and speak about them, or basically you don’t say anything and stay back home, and don’t go.” Ian said: “There’s another option: you stay at home and highlight the abuse. You don’t have to go and take the Qatari’s money, it’s just not a very good defence.”
England Lioness Beth Mead recently told BBC Radio 4 that she will not be “backing or promoting” the World Cup in Qatar. She said the country’s laws on homosexuality are the complete opposite to what she believes and respects.
Beth said: “It’s disappointing in the sense that there’s no respect on a lot of levels, even though it’s a game of football. Although I’d be cheering for the boys who are going to play football there, from the minute it was announced I thought it wasn’t the best idea.”
Peter Tatchell is a LGBTQ+ rights activist has been pretty vocal when it comes to criticising FIFA and Qatar’s laws on homosexuality. In October this year, Peter staged a protest against Qatar’s criminalisation of LGBTQ+ people at the National Museum of Qatar. According to The Guardian, Peter was reportedly stopped by police in the country’s capital, and later said in a statement, “If a Qatari footballer came out as gay, he would be more likely to be jailed, than be selected for Qatar’s national team. That’s discrimination. It’s against FIFA’s rules and FIFA is doing nothing about it.”
So we all know Harry Kane is the captain of the England squad. He has chosen to wear the OneLove armband throughout the tournament in Qatar along with other team captains from other countries including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Wales.
The OneLove campaign aims to “use the power of football to promote inclusion and send a message against discrimination of any kind as the eyes of the world fall on the global game.”
Harry Kane is reportedly “honoured” to wear this armband and hopes it will “send a clear message when the world is watching.”
Josh is a professional footballer who came out as gay in October last year. Speaking to Attitude earlier this year, Josh called on FIFA and Qatar to “do better.” He said: “The athletes they cheer for may be bisexual or non-binary. I vow to stand up for the LGBTQ+ athletes and the fans at the World Cup in Qatar who can’t live openly or authentically. Qatar, FIFA, the world is watching. Do you see us?”
Former footballer and BBC presenter Gary Linekar called out the UK foreign secretary’s advice to LGBTQ+ people during this year’s World Cup. He said: “Whatever you do, don’t do anything gay. Is that the message?”
Gary Linekar also confirmed the BBC’s coverage of the World Cup will address the controversy surrounding Qatar. He said: “I’m sure we’ll do it on the first night. Obviously, we’re not going to do it in every buildup to every game but of course we’ll talk about it and openly.”
Prince William is president of the Football Association, a title which would suggest he is going to the World Cup games. However, The Sun reported Prince William is not expected to visit during the tournament. Although this could be down to his schedule as Prince of Wales.