World Cup Singer Mohammed Assaf No Longer Participating, Shakira Boycotting

BR-UK StaffFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 13, 2014

Arab Idol Mohammad Assaf, a 23 year old singer from Gaza, performs for his fans at MBC television headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates Saturday, June 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Kamran Jebreili/Associated Press

Mohammed Assaf, who was slated to sing the opening of the World Cup this summer, has said that he's been banned from participating

The Palestinian singer, who rose to prominence by winning Arab Idol, said that certain countries or groups have protested his participation and as a result his record company was told that he would no longer participate. 

He was rumoured to also link up with Shakira, who sang at the 2010 Cup, to collaborate, but the Colombian superstar will now boycott as a result of Assaf's non-participation. 

The onetime wedding singer has become a superstar in his native land and he hasn't shied away from political stands. 

"We are searching for our rights, for peace, unity and the end of the occupation and illegal Israeli settlements," he was quoted as saying in the same piece.