Maluma storms out of interview after being pressed on World Cup endorsement: ‘Here to enjoy life’

Maluma storms our of interview about human rights abuses at Qatar World Cup. (KEN/BBC)

Maluma stormed out of an interview about his World Cup involvement after being asked about Qatar’s human rights abuses. 

The singer performed at a FIFA event on Saturday (19 November) in Qatar, having recording an official World Cup anthem with Nicki Minaj and Myriam Fares.

The artists have faced backlash for effectively endorsing Qatar, given the country’s mistreatment of women, migrant workers LGBTQ+ people.

In an interview, conducted by Israeli public broadcaster KAN, it was pointed out to Maluma out that Shakira and Dua Lipa have refused to take part in the World Cup due to the “bad records of Qatar regarding human rights”.

“People think Maluma, don’t you have a problem with human rights violations in this country?” the interviewer asked. 

Maluma responded: “Yeah, but it is something I can’t resolve. I just came here to enjoy life, enjoy soccer, the party of soccer.

“It’s not actually something I have to be involved with. I am here enjoying music and the beautiful life playing soccer too.”

The interviewer pressed, adding that people may think by “the very presence of you here, you are helping [with the] whitewashing” of the Qatar World Cup.

At this point Maluma began to get riled up, saying: “I understand, do I have to answer that question,” and after a brief inaudible conversation from behind the camera, stormed away. 

As he walked away he accused the interviewer of being “rude”.

FIFA president attempted to defend the Qatar World Cup during press conference by giving a bizarre speech in which he said: “Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arabic. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled.”

Although he went on to clarify he was not any of these things, he said he knows what it is “to be discriminated” as he was bullied for his “red hair and freckles, plus I was Italian”.

Maluma is not the only person being called out for supporting the World Cup.

David Beckham has faced intense scrutiny over his reported $150 million deal to be the face of Qatar.

Comedian Joe Lycett threatening to shred £10,000 if Beckham did not pull out of the deal.

After he appeared to go ahead with the threat, he has since confirmed that he shredded only fake money.

Meanwhile, England, Wales and other nations have pulled out of wearing pro-LGBTQ+ “OneLove” armbands after being threatened with yellow cards.