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Robert Smith denies that The Cure will play Qatar World Cup opening ceremony

By | Published on Tuesday 15 November 2022

The Cure

The Cure are the latest act to deny that they are playing the Qatar World Cup – as criticism of those who have chosen to play events surrounding the football competition continue to face criticism.

“Hate to disappoint everyone, but despite the rumours we will not be headlining the World Cup opening ceremony”, tweeted frontman Robert Smith yesterday.

Covering any other questions people might have, he added: “I have also informed [England manager] Gareth Southgate [that] I am unavailable for selection. And if you’re interested, Psychic Bob predicts no one will win but Qatar”.

At the weekend, Dua Lipa also denied rumours that she was due to play the opening ceremony, saying that she would not perform in Qatar at all until “it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host the World Cup”.

Rod Stewart, while not rumoured to play any World Cup events, has commented on other artists who have accepted the offer, saying that he turned down a lucrative opportunity to play in the Middle Eastern country last year, telling The Sunday Times: “I was actually offered a lot of money – over $1 million – to play there fifteen months ago. I turned it down. It’s not right to go. And the Iranians should be out too for supplying arms”.

Artists who are set to play World Cup related shows include Robbie Williams and Jungkook from BTS – both of whom have faced strong criticism as a result. There are concerns from fans that involvement endorses a country that has been repeatedly criticised for human rights violations.

Among other things, Qatar has faced strong criticism over its the treatment of migrant workers in the country, with a report earlier this year estimating that more than 6000 migrant workers have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup ten years ago.

Meanwhile, homosexuality remains illegal in the Middle Eastern country and anyone found participating in same-sex sexual activity can be punished by up to seven years in prison.