David Beckham responds to Joe Lycett over Qatar World Cup deal criticism

Virgin Radio

16 Dec 2022, 08:27

David Beckham and Joe Lycett

Credit: Getty

David Beckham has finally responded after being criticised by comedian Joe Lycett for his Qatar World Cup Deal.

The footballer has said he understands there are “different and strongly held views about engagement in the Middle East” and believes it is “positive” that a debate about “key issues” has been brought up about the contest being held in the country.

His statement was read out by Lycett during a special edition of Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, which aired on Channel 4 on Thursday (15th December) night.

It said: "David has been involved in a number of World Cups and other major international tournaments both as a player and an ambassador and he’s always believed that sport has the power to be a force for good in the world.

"Football, the most popular sport globally, has a genuine ability to bring people together and make a real contribution to communities.

"We understand that there are different and strongly held views about engagement in the Middle East but see it as positive that debate about the key issues has been stimulated directly by the first World Cup being held in the region.

"We hope that these conversations will lead to greater understanding and empathy towards all people and that progress will be achieved."

It all started last month, when Lycett posted a video to social media giving Beckham an ultimatum after news that he had signed a £10 million deal with the FIFA World Cup.

The comedian asked Beckham to end the deal with Qatar before the contest began or he would shred £10,000 of his own money.

When he failed to respond, Lycett released another video showing him shredding the cash- but he eventually revealed it was fake and he had already donated the money to LGBTQ+ charities.

During the Got Your Back special, Lycett also spoke to Naser Mohamed- the first openly gay Qatari.

He told the comedian: "I was cut off by my family and the few friends I have can’t publicly be my friends."

He added: "I know that the LGBT issues in Qatar are awful, I know that they’re life-threatening."

Mohamed also claimed he was blocked by Beckham’s Instagram account after he tagged him in a post about the LGBTQ+ issues in Qatar.

You can watch Joe Lycett Vs David Beckham: A Got Your Back Special on All 4.