The famous English footballer David Beckham was harshly criticized for having allegedly accepted a millionaire deal with the Qatari authorities to be the public face of the World Cup in 2022 in the country where Amnesty International claims that serious abuses are committed against women, homosexuals, and migrant workers.
According to Daily Mail, Beckham signed a deal with the Qatari government worth more than $200 million to be the public face of the soccer World Cup next year.
Part of the deal also includes being the “ambassador of the country” and promoting tourism.
Beckham, a former England national team captain who has 69 million followers on Instagram and is valued at nearly $500 million, posts his glamorous life on social media.
But his fans noticed that despite repeated trips to Qatar and the million-dollar deal he made to promote the World Cup, he didn’t post any photos and didn’t announce it either.
Last October 4, he flew in his private jet to Qatar’s capital Doha, where local media and residents went wild over his presence and posted videos and photos of his visit, including dinner at a fancy restaurant and photos using the subway in an apparent promotional ad.
Although Beckham did not deny or confirm that he had signed a contract with Qatar for the World Cup, his fans immediately took to social media to criticize the footballer.
“Always thought that David Beckham comes across as a really decent guy but he’s sold his soul here,” one user commented.
One Twitter user wrote: “Surely being the face of the Qatar World Cup and an ambassador for UNICEF is a conflict of interest?”
“I guess your principles go out of the window when massive amounts of money are involved,” he added.
The comments appear to refer to abuses committed by the Qatari government, which is accused of imprisoning homosexuals, mistreating women, and treating migrant workers as second-class citizens.
David Beckham has declared himself a ‘feminist’ and has on occasion been photographed wearing a ‘gay pride’ T-shirt.
Sacha Deshmukh, director-general of Amnesty International UK, said, “It’s not surprising that David Beckham wants to be involved in such a major football event, but we would urge him to learn about the deeply concerning human rights situation in Qatar and be prepared to speak out about it.”
“Qatar’s human rights record is troubling—from the country’s longstanding mistreatment of migrant workers—to its curbs on free speech and the criminalisation of same-sex relations,” Sacha added.
“David Beckham should use his unique worldwide profile to keep the world’s focus on the human rights issues surrounding the matches, and not just the play on the pitch,” said the Amnesty spokesperson.
In Qatar, for appearing homosexual, people can receive up to three years in prison. In addition, there are reports that many workers migrating from other countries have died building the stadiums because of poor working conditions and extreme heat.
Facing criticism on social media, a spokesman for the soccer player said, ” David has been visiting Qatar regularly for over a decade and … has seen the passion for football in the country and the long-term commitment that’s been made to hosting the World Cup and delivering a lasting legacy for the region.”
“He’s always talked about the power of football as a force for good on many levels,” he assured.
Beckham, however, declined to answer questions about the persecution of homosexuals and the mistreatment of women and migrant workers.
It is not the first time that an organization like FIFA, which mobilizes hundreds of millions of dollars in the soccer business, has come under fire for holding massive sporting events in countries where governments are accused of violating human rights.
Next year, the International Olympic Committee will once again hold the Olympics in China, where the communist regime persecutes, tortures, and murders people for their beliefs.
Despite the abundant documented evidence of the Chinese Communist Party’s religious persecution, IOC representatives stated that they would not call out the CCP for its abuses, arguing that “confronting a sovereign nation on human rights issues was not within the committee’s remit.”
As many analysts have pointed out, holding massive sporting events in these countries ends up being used by their respective regimes to validate their image and enhance their reputation. In such a case, the world is made complicit, so those aware of the suffering of the people in those countries have called for a boycott of the Olympic Games.