Millions of pounds for Beckham. He ends up as a gay icon, blamed for the Qatar deals

With just days to go before the World Cup kicks off, criticism of soccer legend David Beckham is once again escalating in the British Isles. One of the most famous footballers of all time has become the face of a controversial tournament in Qatar, raking in millions of pounds for his role as ambassador, angering human rights organisations.

The organization Human Rights Watch calls respect for human rights in Qatar sad, but this did not prevent David Beckham from concluding a lucrative contract with the rich and highly conservative Arab country.

In it, he pledged to help Qataris with the promotion of the country and especially the soccer world cup. His one-off remuneration should be 10 million pounds, in the case of a long-term cooperation even 150 million pounds over the next ten years.

In the summer he filmed a thirty-minute promotional spot in which he states: “The people of Qatar are very proud of their culture. The modern and the traditional come together here to create something truly unique.”

Criticisms of the once untouchable English idol escalated in the aftermath.

According to Amnesty International, Qatar has a long history of trampling on human rights, from limiting freedom of expression to criminalizing same-sex relationships to cruel treatment of foreign workers.

According to The Guardian, around 6,500 workers have died during stadium construction since 2010.

The World Cup is a typical example of so-called “sportwashing”, when a totalitarian regime hides human rights issues by organizing a major sporting event.

Due to its strict laws, Qatar is considered dangerous for the LGBTQ+ community as well as for women, whose lives are largely controlled by men due to the guardianship system.

“I would never go to that country as a gay, I’d be very scared. As for David Beckham, he should hang his head in shame. He’s a gay icon, hugely popular around the world, and he’s doing it for one reason only: to the millions in the bank,” British journalist and political commentator Andrew Pierce said a few days ago.

Under Qatari law, homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to three years in prison.

Pierce was joined by British comedian Joe Lycett. According to him, Beckham, who has dealt with LGTBQ+ rights in the past, “will lose his status as a gay icon” after the Qatar anabasis.

“You are the first Premier League footballer to be photographed in gay magazines like Attitude and you speak openly about your gay fans. It is now 2022 and you are under contract with Qatar,” Lycett told Beckham.

Already in October, the former footballer had been criticized in the Daily Mail by Rob Rinder, a British criminal lawyer and TV personality. “It’s clear that it’s about money, not about the purity of love for the game. He put money before morals. A terribly tragic moment,” he said.

The six-times champion of England with the shirt of Manchester United has not personally commented on the collaboration with the Qatar regime.

His spokesman offered this explanation in the summer: “David visited Qatar ten years ago. He saw in that country a great passion for football, a long-term commitment to host the World Cup and a desire to bring a great legacy to the whole region.”

The 47-year-old Beckham was defended by former United team-mate and eminent TV football pundit Gary Neville.

“People forget that Beckham played for Paris St. Germain, a Qatari-owned club. He has a certain relationship with them. Also, the work he has done in terms of our country’s reputation in the world is probably unmatched in recent years. five to 10 years.” he reported for the Daily Mail.

According to experts, Beckham, who has also played for Real Madrid, Milan and Los Angeles Galaxy in his career and currently owns the Inter Miami club, is currently in need of money.

His company David Beckham Ventures Limited has suffered significant losses in recent years due to the covid pandemic, as has his wife Victoria’s brand.

Rich Qatari money will help cover these losses, but Beckham could pay a high price for this contract in the future, according to marketers. In the future, a potential applicant for his services may be put off by the very fact that he has a “contract” with Qatar.

“It could be argued that by joining the campaign they wanted to draw attention to the injustices of the regime there, but many brands will probably think about whether they want to be associated with such a controversy,” said sports contracts expert Conrad Wiacek of analytics firm GlobalData already last year.

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