David Beckham has become the subject of criticism over his involvement with the 2022 Qatar World Cup. The human rights situation of the country has become a major point of criticism. Same-sex relationships are not allowed, woman’s rights are heavily limited and the stadium construction workers have to operate in very difficult conditions.
Beckham wanted to be the face of the 2022 World Cup. However, his decision was not backed by EA Sports, who have a £40 million sponsorship deal with him. Last year, the former England captain was named the brand ambassador of EA.
In a statement that sources say left Beckham ‘mortified’, Amnesty 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.’
In a thinly veiled attack on Beckham’s defence, it 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.’
EA Sports have refused to comment on Beckham’s actions involving the Qatar World Cup. Moreover, other companies that have worked with him, such as UNICEF, Diageo and Safilo have also refrained from speaking out.
Beckham’s association with Qatar stems from his friendship with Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the owner of PSG. He played with them in 2013 and the former midfielder now has a deal with Qatar to promote the World Cup. However, it has earned him a lot of criticism over the state of the host country.