Colombian singer Maluma, one of the stars behind Qatar’s official World Cup anthem, left an interview with Israel’s public broadcaster Kan on Friday when asked about his participation in the tournament. despite the human rights violations committed by Qatar.
The singer was asked about stars including Shakira and Dua Lipa who refused to get involved in the World Cup due to Qatar’s poor human rights record. “Yeah but it’s something I can’t solve. I just came here to enjoy life, enjoy football and party,” Maluma told the Kan public broadcaster. “It’s not something I have to be involved in. I’m here to enjoy my music and the good life, playing football too,” he added.
Journalist Moav Vardi pushed Maluma over the edge, asking him if he could understand why people don’t like his response and if the Colombian star’s presence is helping the Qatari regime whitewash the situation.
“Should I answer this question?” Maluma replied, looking off the screen. We then hear a voice tell him that he does not need to answer. It was unclear who was speaking. “You are being rude,” Maluma told Vardi, before getting up to leave the interview.
Maluma teamed up with hip-hop star Nicki Minaj and Lebanese singer Myriam Fares for the single “Tukoh Taka”, which features lyrics in English, Spanish and Arabic. The singer and Myriam Fares will perform at the opening of the FIFA supporters festival in Doha on Saturday.
The World Cup has generated multiple controversies, from the deaths and living conditions of migrant workers, the environmental impact of air-conditioned stadiums to the position and rights of LGBTQ people, women and minorities.