Dua Lipa clears up rumors surrounding 2022 FIFA World Cup performance

More than a million people may be traveling to Qatar to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup in late November, but Dua Lipa won't be one of them. After hearing rumors that she would perform at the Nov. 20 opening ceremony, the singer clarified the misinformation on Nov. 13. In an Instagram Story, she firmly shut down the speculation before calling attention to ongoing human rights issues and abuses in host countries.

"There is currently a lot of speculation that I will perform at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar," she wrote. "I cannot perform and have never been involved in any negotiations to perform. I will be cheering for England from afar and I look forward to visiting Qatar once it fulfills all the human rights commitments it made when it won the right to host the World Cup."

The note was signed "one love, Dua x" - leaving no room for speculation as to why she didn't want to participate. While the "Levitate" singer didn't reveal whether she was ever considered a potential performer, she made it clear she wasn't interested in participating in international sporting events. Her reasoning seemed to focus on human rights issues.

Dua Lipa/Instagram

FIFA awarded Qatar the hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup in 2010, a decision that has been controversial ever since. Critics have criticized the country's anti-gay laws and lack of protection for migrant workers who are building necessary infrastructure, BBC Sport reported. Despite the government's certain labor reforms and assurances that everyone is welcome (including LGBTQ+ fans), many remain skeptical. For example, the Danish men's football team wants to wear training jerseys with the words "Human Rights for All"; however, Jakob Jensen, CEO of the Danish Football Association, said in an interview with Denmark's DR Sporten that FIFA This design was recently rejected.

If Lipa does want to play a role in the event, she's likely to face backlash. A survey reported by The Guardian on November 7 found that 62% of Lipa's fellow Britons believed that Qatar's criminalization of homosexuality should have prevented it from becoming a host country. A smaller but still significant group (43%) thinks the England and Wales national teams should skip the tournament.

Korean pop star Jung Kook has been in hot water since BTS announced in a Nov. 11 tweet that he would perform at the opening ceremony and be part of the official soundtrack. Many fans expressed their disappointment, while others celebrated. "If JK really performs at the opening ceremony, I will no longer support BTS and I hope Bighit can change his mind!" one wrote. Another expressed their pride in the singer getting the chance, before adding, "But I don't [sic] support it. I thought BTS stood for human rights?"