Let Me Entertain You: Robbie Williams plays World Cup gig for England squad
Robbie Williams has kept the England squad entertained as they gear up for Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final with France.
The Port Vale fan sang songs for Gareth Southgate’s players and chatted with them at their Al Wakra base in Qatar.
Williams, whose hits include Let Me Entertain You and Angels, was in the country to perform at the Doha Golf Club on Thursday.
The 48-year-old, who made his name as a member of Take That, last month defended his decision to play in the Gulf state amid criticism of its record on human rights.
England and Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips told reporters: “Robbie was here with us last night, he was just by the pool, he sang us a few songs and it was a really good night.
“I had a chance to chat with him and he’s an unbelievably talented person but a really nice person as well, and he got along with everyone.
“It was a pleasure to have him and knowing how big he is in the world and how well he’s doing, it’s an honour to have met him and spoken to him as well.”
Felix Jakens, Amnesty International UK’s head of priority campaigns and individuals at risk, said: “This will have given the players an enjoyable evening and a useful boost ahead of the France game, but we’d still like to see Robbie Williams using his considerable platform to address human rights issues during his time in Qatar, especially widespread labour abuses and the country’s criminalisation of LGBTQ+ people.
“Let’s not forget, this is a World Cup built on the suffering of thousands of migrant workers, and it’s taking place in a country where LGBTQ+ people can be jailed and where freedom of speech and women’s rights are unacceptably curtailed.”
A Guardian investigation said more than 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since it was awarded the World Cup in 2010, but this figure has been “categorically” denied by authorities.
Hassan Al-Thawadi, secretary-general of the Supreme Committee (SC) for Delivery and Legacy, said last month that between 400 and 500 migrants have died as a result of development linked to the tournament.