He has long been the golden boy of English and world football, but ‘Goldenballs’ David Beckham may just have lost his shine.
The former Manchester United legend, a veteran of World Cups past, has agreed to become the face of the 2022 tournament in Qatar according to The Sun.
Under normal circumstances eyebrows probably wouldn’t be raised. After all, most tournaments of this nature require the odd figurehead or two for promotional reasons and the like.
The issue for Beckham is his work with the charity, UNICEF.
To then be the front man for a country with a dubious human rights record is a clear conflict of interest.
The outlet acknowledge that Beckham will be paid £15m a year over the next 10 years in order to not just promote the World Cup, but to enhance Qatar’s offering post-tournament.
That’s a lot of money to turn down, though The Sun also estimate his and his wife Victoria’s net worth to be an astonishing £339m, so it’s not as if he needs it.
Clearly, the carrot of £150m has turned Beckham’s head, and that hasn’t sat well with fans of the footballing icon.
@UNICEF Your ‘ambassador’ David Beckham has just taken £22 million from Qatar to ‘promote’ the World Cup, a country with horrendous human rights violations. Will you now remove him from.this conflict of interest?
— Roger Chadwick (@RogerChadwick15) October 24, 2021
What a shame. Someone we all felt reasonably good about decided to sell it all for some Middle East wedge. A guy who is literally an ambassador for UNICEF. Wow. #beckham #qatar https://t.co/LwXeUzy5Fi
— Bobby Brows (@BrowsBobby) October 24, 2021
Very disappointing decision by David Beckham to sell his image to this #sportswashing exercise.
He should instead be using his position to draw attention to Qatar’s human rights record and treatment of it’s migrant workers https://t.co/J6BOzWSrAO
— End Sportswashing (@End_Sportswash) October 24, 2021