Joe Lycett to shred £10,000 if David Beckham promotes World Cup in Qatar

Comedian says that if footballer does not cut ties with event his ‘status as a gay icon will be shredded’ along with the cash

Joe Lycett has said he will put £10,000 of his own money into a shredder in one week’s time if David Beckham does not end his multimillion pound deal with Qatar to promote the 2022 World Cup.

Issuing the challenge, the comedian said he would donate the money to charity if Beckham agreed to cut ties with the World Cup host, but if not, the footballer’s “status as a gay icon will be shredded” along with the cash in a livestream next Sunday before the opening ceremony.

Beckham, who has historically supported gay fans and players, will earn as much as £150m as an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup, despite the country outlawing same-sex relationships and concerns over its record on human rights.

The charity Human Rights Watch found as recently as September this year, queer people were being detained without charge – in one case for two months in solitary confinement – and violently and sexually assaulted, under “morality” laws. 🌈

— Joe Lycett (@joelycett) November 13, 2022

In a video posted on social media and the website, Lycett opens by saying: “This is a message to David Beckham. I consider you, along with Kim Woodburn and Monty Don, to be a gay icon. You were the first premiership footballer to do shoots with gay magazines like Attitude, to speak openly about your gay fans, and you married a Spice Girl which is the gayest thing a human being can do.”

He turned to Beckham’s deal with Qatar – “one of the worst places in the world to be gay” – to promote the World Cup.

He said: “If you end your relationship with Qatar I will donate 10 grand of my own money to charities that support queer people in football.

“However, if you do not I will throw the money into a shredder at midday next Sunday, just before the opening ceremony of the World Cup and stream it right here. Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded.”

Beckham has already been criticised by fans, including Di Cunningham, the co-founder of the Three Lions Pride, the England national team’s biggest LGBTQ+ supporters’ group. She said: “I’m just so disappointed because we – the LGBTQ+ football family – have put David Beckham on a pedestal, as a great ally.

“And then it turns out that he’s taking a lot of money to be an ambassador for this World Cup, and that’s incredibly disappointing.”


Robyn Vinter

The GuardianTramp

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