David Beckham had to face severe criticism for his promotional video in Qatar ahead of the FIFA World Cup.
The former England football team captain has been accused of “stamping out hope” for the LGBTQI community in his promotional work for the World Cup. Dr Nas Mohamed, who recently became the first openly gay man in Qatar, has lambasted Beckham for his questionable approach toward the LGBT+ community.
Dr Mohamed, in his open letter to Beckham, wrote that the former Manchester United midfielder is guilty of earning money and looking the other way. He also urged Beckham to raise his voice against the injustice. The letter was reportedly written last month. It is also the first public criticism of Beckham by a Qatari gay.
“You are stamping out hope for the LGBT community in Qatar. You show up… take the money and look the other way. Furthermore, you send a message that there is truly no chance for us to escape our current persecution and live freely,” Dr Mohamed wrote in the letter, obtained by The Independent.
Dr Mohamed added that Beckham’s PR work for Qatar does not represent an accurate image of the nation and overlooks the excruciating experiences of the LGBTQ+ community.
The report claims that Beckham has been paid a handsome amount to publicise Qatar and the FIFA World Cup. Beckham recently featured in an advertisement riding a motorbike in Doha.
Beckham’s former Manchester United teammate Eric Cantona also took a dig at the English footballer for playing ambassadorial roles for Qatar. Beckham is not the only footballer to take part in the promotional work for the World Cup hosts. Barcelona coach Xavi and former Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o were previously spotted promoting Qatar as well.
Cantona even termed Beckham’s deal with Qatar as a “big mistake.” In an interview with the Athletic, the former French footballer categorically stated that he would never agree to publicise Qatar ahead of the World Cup.
The FIFA World Cup is set to kick off on November 20 at the Al Bayt Stadium. Hosts Qatar will be up against Ecuador in the inaugural fixture. The summit clash is scheduled to be played at the Lusail Stadium in Doha on December 18.