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Assaf 'banned' from singing at World Cup ceremony

Feb. 14, 2014 2:45 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 15, 2014 10:50 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Arab Idol winner Mohammad Assaf said this week that he has been banned from performing at the 2014 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony.

"I was supposed to sing for the World Cup 2014, in the opening ceremony, but, I do not want to accuse anyone but some people, or states or parties, God knows who, intervened and FIFA canceled my song with Platinum Records," he said at a news conference in Gaza on Tuesday.

"There are a lot of people who fight me, I do not know who," he added.

The Arab Idol star claimed that Colombian singer Shakira has "refused to sing in the World Cup because I will not sing."

In July last year FIFA president Sepp Blatter said he would invite Assaf to sing at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Assaf, the first Palestinian to win the popular Arab Idol TV singing contest, became the UN's first Palestinian goodwill ambassador in June 2013 following his victory.

An official from FIFA could not be reached by Ma'an.
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