Belgium has scandal brewing over rapper's World Cup song

FILE - In this Friday, July 1, 2016 file photo, a Belgium fan poses for a photograph prior to the Euro 2016 quarterfinal soccer match between Wales and Belgium, at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve d'Ascq, near Lille, France. The Belgian football federation said on Thursday, March 8, 2018 that it will not change its mind about choosing a rapper known for lacing his songs with obscene and misogynistic lyrics to produce its official World Cup song. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

BRUSSELS - The Belgian football federation says it will not change its mind about choosing a rapper known for lacing his songs with misogynistic lyrics to produce its official World Cup song.

The federation said in a statement on its website Thursday — International Women's Day — that it did not want to be taken "hostage" by pro-women groups, who say it is unacceptable that an artist using degrading lyrics could be picked to produce what should be a unifying song for the country.

The rapper, Damso, has said that his songs are more complicated that the denigrating terms imply.

Belgian State Secretary for equal opportunities Zuhal Demir said the federation's choice was incomprehensible.

"As a federation, how can you defend this in front of your sponsors, and especially families and women? Even men," Demir wrote, before adding some of Damso's most criticized lyrics on her Facebook page.

The Women's Forum, a coalition of women's groups, has vowed that it will take further action.


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