Rod Stewart — who was a damn good sport about a viral overgrown bunker that looms strikingly similar to him — has some strong opinions about the biggest sports tournament in the world. And he put his money where his mouth is, too. When asked about his rooting interest in the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, the typically soccer-loving Stewart revealed to The Times that he’s not as enthused about this year’s World Cup, and in fact, he turned down “over $1 million” to play at the event’s opening ceremony.
“I was actually offered a lot of money, over $1 million, to play there 15 months ago. I turned it down,” Stewart explained, saying, “It’s not right to go. And the Iranians should be out too for supplying arms.”
FIFA’s alleged human rights violations surrounding Qatar 2022 have been well-documented. Global watchdog Human Rights Watch says that “FIFA failed to impose strong conditions to protect workers and became a complacent enabler to the widespread abuse workers suffered, including illegal recruitment fees, wage theft, injuries, and deaths.” There’s even a new Netflix documentary series, FIFA Uncovered, currently streaming which exposes FIFA’s continued corruption.
So kudos to Sir Rod Stewart for taking a stand once again. The singer has been a consistent supporter of human rights, including once footing the bill for disabled children who sought to protest Medicaid cuts in Washington DC. Meanwhile, Jung Kook of BTS is slated to perform at the World Cup’s opening ceremony.
Rod Stewart is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.