Colombian singer Maluma, who is one of the artists who sang the World Cup anthem in Qatar, stormed out of an Israeli television interview midway on Friday after he was questioned about his participation in the event despite Qatar's human rights violations. The video of the moment has since gone viral.
The 28-year-old musician called the reporter nasty and stormed out after being asked about whether or not his presence at the tournament was "helping whitewash" human rights abuses. Maulma didn't like it. The singer appears on Tukoh Taka, the official hymn for the Fifa Qatar World Cup, alongside Nicki Minaj and Lebanese artist Mryiam Fares.
Maluma was giving the interview to an Israeli television channel and everything initially seemed to be going fine. However, after a few rounds of questions and answers during the BBC broadcast to the Israeli public television, he was asked, "Shakira and Dua Lipa refused to take part in this World Cup due to the bad records of Qatar regarding human rights.
"Obviously people think what, Maluma don't you have a problem with human rights violations in this country?"
In response, Maluma, whose real name is Juan Luis Londoo Arias, said that it was a situation he could not fix and he was merely there to "enjoy the party of soccer."
"Yeah but it's something I can't resolve. I just came here to enjoy life, enjoy soccer and the party of soccer," Maluma told the Kan public broadcaster.
Maluma was pressed on the subject by Moav Vardi, the reporter, who asked whether the Colombian singer's participation was aiding the Qatari government in whitewashing the facts and whether he could comprehend why people could take issue with his response.
"Do I have to answer that question?" Maluma said, looking off screen.
Then he hears a voice telling him that he is not required to respond. Who was speaking was unclear.
At this point of time Maluma looked infuriated. "You're rude," Maluma said to Vardi, as he stood up and walked out the interview.
In Public View
Maluma collaborated with Nicki Minaj, a hip-hop icon, and Myriam Fares, a Lebanese singer, on the song "Tukoh Taka," which features lyrics in English, Spanish, and Arabic. The song is the most recent of a string of tunes by international musicians that have been made available as a part of FIFA's official soundtrack for the 2022 World Cup.
The World Cup anthem video shows the singer—who has a girlfriend named Susana Gomez—having a good time in the desert with Minaj and Fares.
In the song's music video, Fares and Maluma join Minaj after she arrives in a crowded bus full of partygoers.
Maluma had previously recorded a song for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He collaborated with Madonna in 2019, starred opposite Jennifer Lopez in the 2022 film Marry Me, and provided the Mariano voice in Disney's Encanto.
The World Cup in Qatar has been marred with controversies, including those involving the deaths and living conditions of migrant workers, the environmental effects of air-conditioned stadiums, and the status and rights of LGBTQ individuals, women, and minorities.
Additionally, Qatar abruptly reversed course on the agreement it made to win the soccer event on Friday and banned the sale of beer in World Cup stadiums, just two days before the tournament's opening match.
According to skeptics, Qatar tried to change its reputation by using the prestige of the World Cup. They viewed the move as a prime example of "sportswashing," the practice of portraying a nation or business in a favorable light.
Maluma and Myriam Fares later performed at the opening of the FIFA fan festival in Doha on Sunday.