World Cup singer Maluma walks out of interview over Qatar human rights question

Well that question struck the wrong note with this World Cup singer.

Colombian singer-songwriter Maluma, one of the artists who collaborated on the FIFA World Cup 2022 theme song, stopped a live TV interview with Israel’s KAN News — and walked off the set — when he was asked about host country Qatar’s human rights record.

A viral video shows KAN’s chief international correspondent, Moav Vardi, noting that other international stars like Shakira and Dua Lipa declined to be involved with this year’s World Cup due to Qatar’s questionable history on human rights. “And obviously people think, what, ‘Maluma doesn’t have a problem with human rights violations in this country?’” asks Vardi.

Read more: Why is the 2022 Qatar World Cup so controversial? Here’s a list of issues overshadowing FIFA’s tournament

and: Qatar World Cup controversies mean sponsors are walking a tightrope

“Yeah but it’s something I can’t resolve,” Maluma responds. “I just came here to enjoy life, enjoy soccer.”

Maluma, who collaborated on the “Tukoh Taka” World Cup theme song featuring lyrics in English, Spanish and Arabic with American rapper Nicki Minaj and Lebanese singer Myriam Fares, also adds that the human rights issue is not an area where he needs to be involved.

So when Vardi pushes the subject, asking if Maluma is then helping to “whitewash” the allegations that Qatar is violating human rights by simply focusing on the soccer, Maluma is seen asking someone off-camera whether he has to answer the question. He’s told “no,” so he puts his microphone down and stands up.

“You are rude,” Maluma says, walking away and cutting the live interview short.

Watch it here:

This comes just days after FIFA kicked some teams’ plans to wear rainbow “OneLove” armbands promoting diversity at this year’s World Cup by threatening to yellow-card any players seen wearing the bands. In the end, the football federations of England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland asked their team captains not to wear them.

“We can’t put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including bookings,” the federations said in a joint statement.

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