Joe Lycett has apparently shredded £10,000 over David Beckham’s role as Qatar’s World Cup ambassador



CNN

A British comedian appeared to fork over 10,000 pounds ($11,000) in a video after getting no response from David Beckham over his controversial role as Qatar’s World Cup ambassador.

On Sunday, Joe Lycett began tweeting an hourly countdown to his noon UK (7am ET) deadline. At 12 p.m. GMT, posted a video of himself shredding the money on www.benderslikebeckham.com, a website Lycett used to post links to on Twitter.

He later posted it on his social media accounts with the caption “a platform for progress”, possibly a reference to a statement the soccer star made in a pre-recorded message at the Qatar High Commission’s Generation Amazing youth festival in Doha, where used these words to describe this year’s World Cup.

On November 13, Lycett, who describes himself as queer on his website, posted a video on Twitter, saying he would donate £10,000 to charities supporting “queer people in football” or put the money in the wrecker , along with Beckham’s “reputation as a gay icon”, if the former England captain did not cut ties with Qatar during the week. Homosexuality in Qatar is illegal and punishable by up to three years in prison.

Beckham didn’t answer and, at video Posted on his Twitter on Sunday, Lycett was seen putting wads of money into an industrial shredder while wearing a rainbow colored t-shirt.

Former England player David Beckham (L) and HE Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad AL-Thani, president of Qatar Olympic (R) pose for a photo on November 21, 2021.

Then he walked away in front of the camera and walked away. The comedian did not immediately respond to CNN when asked to confirm whether he had actually crunched any money.

Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Tradition & Heritage recently told CNN that the 2022 World Cup will be “a safe and inclusive tournament” and said “everyone is welcome, regardless of race, origin, religion, gender, orientation or nationality.”

Earlier this week, soccer’s world governing body FIFA referred CNN to its High Commission for Tradition & Heritage for all comments regarding Lycett’s criticism of Beckham and Qatar.

Beckham, reached by CNN on Nov. 14 through his representatives, declined to comment on the criticism surrounding his embassy. CNN reached out to his representatives after Lycett appeared to be shredding money, but did not hear back at the time of publication.

“Qatar dreamed of taking the World Cup to an unprecedented level, but it would not be enough to just achieve things on the pitch,” Beckham said at the youth festival. “The stadium would be a platform for progress.

“Dreams can come true. That’s why you’re here. You share Generation Amazing’s twin passions for the game of soccer and making the world more tolerant and inclusive.”

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report published in October documented alleged cases of beatings and sexual harassment during detention. According to victims interviewed by Human Rights Watch, security forces allegedly forced trans women to attend conversion therapy sessions at a government-funded “behavioral health care” center.

“The Qatari authorities must end impunity for violence against LGBT people. The world is watching,” said Rasha Younes of Human Rights Watch.

A Qatari official told CNN that HRW’s claims “contain information that is categorically and categorically false.”

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar kicks off on Sunday.

Lycett, however, took aim at Beckham.

“You’re the first Premiership footballer to do a shoot with gay magazines like Attitude to talk openly about your gay fans,” Lycett said in last week’s video.

“Now, it’s 2022. And you’ve signed a reported £10 million deal with Qatar to be their ambassador during the FIFA World Cup.”

“If you don’t, by noon next Sunday, I’m going to throw that money into a wrecker just before the World Cup opening ceremony and stream it live on a website I’ve registered called benderslikebeckham.com.”

Lycett is not the first person or group to criticize Beckham for his ambassadorship.

Adelaide United player Josh Cavallo, who came out as gay last year, told CNN Sport he would like to see Beckham use his platform to support the LGBTQ community instead of promoting the Qatari government.

“If someone like David Beckham with his platform surrounds us and becomes an ally that we want, it’s really helpful.

“If he could take that next step and show what he means to the LGBTQ community, that would be fantastic.”



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