Robbie Williams defends World Cup performance
Robbie Williams has defended his decision to perform during the World Cup in Qatar.
The 48-year-old singer accepted a request to perform in Qatar – which has been the subject of international condemnation over its human rights record including criminalisation of homosexuality – but insisted that it would be “hypocritical” not to do so.
In an interview with Italian newspaper Il Venerdì di Repubblica, Robbie said: “Of course, I don’t condone any abuses of human rights anywhere.
“That being said, if we’re not condoning human rights abuses anywhere, then it would be the shortest tour the world has ever known. I wouldn’t even be able to perform in my own kitchen.
“Anybody leaving messages saying “no to Qatar” are doing so on Chinese technology. It would be hypocritical of me to not go [to Qatar] because of the places that I do go to.
“I think that the hypocrisy there is that if we take that case in this place, we need to apply that unilaterally to the world… Then if we apply that unilaterally to the world, nobody can go anywhere.”
Robbie’s decision to perform comes after it was revealed that Dua Lipa, Sir Rod Stewart and Shakira all turned down requests to play in the country.
Rod, 77, rejected a seven-figure sum to entertain crowds in the Middle East country in 2021 because it “wasn’t right” to go.
He told The Sunday Times: “I was actually offered a lot of money, over $1 million, to play there 15 months ago. I turned it down. It’s not right to go. And the Iranians should be out too for supplying arms. Tell you what, supporters have got to watch out, haven’t they?”
And Dua Lipa has vowed never to visit the country until “all human rights” are granted.
She said: “There is currently a lot of speculation that I will be performing at the opening ceremony of the world cup in Qatar. I will not be performing and nor have I ever been involved in any negotiation to perform. 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.”
This article originally ran on celebretainment.com.