“I will not be performing and nor have I ever been involved in any negotiations to perform. I will be cheering England on from afar,” she wrote. “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.”
Lipa’s stance is no surprise considering the host country’s checkered record when it comes to gay rights, as well as the way it treated the workers that build many of the stadiums that will host games.
The Guardian reported in Feb. 2021 that more than 6,500 migrant workers from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since it was awarded the 2022 World Cup, presumably while working on projects related to the tournament. Also in Qatar, sexual relations between two males comes with a possible seven-year prison sentence, and according to sharia law, “homosexuality is punishable by death.”
Another report indicates England fans could face the death penalty if they’re caught smuggling in possession of drugs in Al Bayt Stadium. Meanwhile, The Athletic reported that there are very real concerns that females who attend the World Cup could face punishment if they were to report instances of sexual assault.