Dua Lipa's father negotiated for two years for star to play World Cup

REVEALED: Dua Lipa’s father negotiated for two years to get the chart-topping star to play at the Qatar World Cup – as she hit out at its anti-gay laws

When pop queen Dua Lipa shut down rumours that she was to perform in Qatar, her duet partner and LGBT champion Sir Elton John no doubt applauded.

Yet emails reveal her manager father, Dukagjin Lipa, had been negotiating with the Qataris for two years to get the chart-topping star to play at the World Cup.

The documents detail how the singer’s Kosovo-born father, known as Dugi, first approached Qatar’s World Cup organising body, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, in 2020.

‘I represent my daughter, the artist Dua Lipa, and I am keen to discuss with the Supreme Committee plans for artist performances for Qatar World Cup 2022,’ he wrote on March 9 that year.

When pop queen Dua Lipa shut down rumours that she was to perform in Qatar, her duet partner and LGBT champion Sir Elton John no doubt applauded. Yet emails reveal her manager father, Dukagjin Lipa, had been negotiating with the Qataris for two years to get the chart-topping star to play at the World Cup

By January 2021, the singer’s 53-year-old father, who runs the communications agency Republika, still hoped to persuade organisers to give his daughter a tournament spot, saying: ‘I just wanted to follow up on my previous email and was wondering whether it would be possible for us to discuss any opportunity arising where we can be of help?

‘We recently streamed a live performance of tracks from Dua’s new album as well as appearances by other artists which had 5 million viewers, which was the largest ever globally for a live-stream event.’

A committee member replied: ‘It is fantastic to hear from you and know that with Dua being put forward it is backed by the knowledge that she is also interested.’

The documents detail how the singer’s Kosovo-born father, known as Dugi, first approached Qatar’s World Cup organising body, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, in 2020

By April that year, Mr Lipa expressed his anxiety about the negotiations, saying: ‘I was approached… with a specific request for Dua Lipa and the opening ceremony and I wanted to touch base with you regarding this and making sure that we are not talking to the wrong person.’

The Mail on Sunday’s revelations cast doubt on London-born Dua Lipa’s recent statement, released to her 87 million followers on Instagram, claiming a performance at the Qatar tournament was never on the cards.

Last month the 27-year-old singer said: ‘There is currently 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.’

Her comments were applauded by human rights campaigners, after controversy surrounded the football tournament over Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers and criminalisation of same-sex relationships. In an interview last week with Variety, the Cold Heart singer – who recently duetted with Sir Elton on stage in Los Angeles – said the Qatar event ‘goes against [her] beliefs’.

The Mail on Sunday’s revelations cast doubt on London-born Dua Lipa’s recent statement, released to her 87 million followers on Instagram, claiming a performance at the Qatar tournament was never on the cards

Last night, the pop star’s father claimed that his daughter was not aware of his contact with the Qataris.

‘In 2020, I had several email exchanges with the Qatari World Cup marketing team,’ Mr Lipa said. ‘Dua was not involved or aware of those exchanges or any other conversations.

‘This was… at a time when Qatar had made several pledges to reform their labour laws and make amends to their human rights record.

‘As the World Cup got closer, it became very clear that these pledges were not going to be honoured so I stopped talking to them. Since then I have been approached by several people connected with the Qatar World Cup to whom I made very clear that Dua would not be involved with them.’

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