‘I’m an ally to the LGBTQ+ community’: Mel C reveals she would turn down an offer to perform in Qatar – after David Beckham’s controversial £10m World Cup deal
Mel C has revealed that she would reject an offer to perform in the World Cup’s host nation of Qatar.
The singer, 48, said that she ‘wouldn’t be comfortable’ accepting money to take to the stage in the Gulf State, due to its controversial human rights record.
This comes after David Beckham faced backlash over a £10 million deal to be an ambassador for Qatar’s World Cup, despite controversy around the Arab country’s treatment of women, migrant workers and LGBT people.
Speaking out: Mel C has revealed that she would reject an offer to perform in the World Cup’s host nation of Qatar (pictured in February)
Mel, whose bandmate Victoria is married to former footballer David, told The Daily Mail’s Richard Eden: ‘Personally, I’m an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and it’s not something I would feel comfortable in doing.
‘People want to go over there and help to make a change. Each to their own, but it would be a no from me if the offer came.’
This comes after Dua Lipa denied speculation that she was due to perform at the World Cup’s opening ceremony, which took place on Sunday.
Drama: The singer said that she ‘wouldn’t be comfortable’ accepting money to take to the stage in the Gulf State, following David Beckham’s controversial £10 million deal
Just a week before the football tournament was due to begin, Dua took to Instagram Stories to rubbish the rumours and hit out at Qatar over its human rights record.
She wrote: ‘There is 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.
‘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.’
She signed off: ‘One love, Dua x’
Denial: This comes after Dua Lipa denied speculation that she was due to perform at the World Cup’s opening ceremony
Primary concern is the contractual conditions for hundreds of thousands of migrant workers employed to turn the tiny emirate into a region capable of hosting football’s biggest tournament.
It is yet to be seen how much time World Cup broadcasters will spend highlighting the allegations against the Qatari government, which include 2013 claims by The Guardian that workers were denied food, water, and were stripped of their passports.
Some allege they were not paid, or if they were, the payments were minimal and long overdue. A 2019 Daily Mirror investigation found that 28,000 workers were paid roughly $1 an hour over a 48-hour week.
Having her say: The singer took to her Instagram Stories to rubbish the rumours and hit out at Qatar over its human rights record
Most damning, The Wall Street Journal reported in 2015 that over 1,200 workers died building the infrastructure for the tournament. Last year, The Guardian put that figure at closer to 6,500.
Qatar also punishes homosexuality with imprisonment and considers men to be the guardians of their female relatives.
It also has strict laws on alcohol, drugs, public intimacy, relationships outside marriage, dress codes and swearing.
Some campaigners have urged celebrities to boycott the World Cup, with Robbie Williams and David Beckham both coming under criticism for associating with the competition.
Robbie was recently unveiled as one of the music acts set to play at the Qatar Live concerts during a press conference in Doha.
Meanwhile, David agreed a £10million deal to become an ambassador for the country over a decade, which has resulted in him being the face of the World Cup 2022.
Backlash: Qatar has faced growing criticism over its treatment of women, migrant workers and LGBT people (FIFA president Gianni Infantino pictured)