Without any third party, FIFA directly invited BTS’s Jungkook to the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
On November 20, BTS’s Jungkook became the first Korean artist to stand on the stage of a World Cup opening ceremony held overseas. Many people around the world questioned, “Why is a K-pop superstar performing at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in the Middle East?”
Japanese media channel ‘The Answer’ reported on Jungkook‘s appearance with a comment from Japanese netizens claiming that “Due to the influence of the official sponsor of the World Cup, Hyundai Motor, Jungkook had the opportunity to perform at the opening ceremony”.
However, according to Chosun Ilbo, citing various sources, it was FIFA’s idea to invite Jungkook. FIFA directly contacted HYBE’s headquarters, HYBE’s US branch, and BigHit Music, BTS’s label, without going through Hyundai Motor since about a month ago. Although FIFA did not reveal any specific reason, from the beginning, they chose Jungkook among the BTS members and sent him an invitation.
Critics analyzed that FIFA inviting Jungkook was related to the slogans of this World Cup, such as ‘multicultural‘, ‘diversity‘ and ‘peace‘. Italian director Marco Balich, who is in charge of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2022 World Cup, said, “The Qatari government has asked to emphasize multiculturalism, diversity and peace at the opening ceremony.”
BTS and their fandom ARMY, who have spoken out on topics like multiculturalism, respect for diversity and the environment, fit this well.
In terms of achievements, BTS and Jungkook’s popularity also suit the global music market, including North America as well as the host country Qatar and Middle Eastern culture.