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EsportsDAN WOOTTON: David Beckham’s World Cup deal with Qatar is going to cost him his reputation | Daily Mail Online
DAN WOOTTON: David Beckham's World Cup deal with Qatar is going to cost him his reputation | Daily Mail Online thumbnail

DAN WOOTTON: David Beckham’s World Cup deal with Qatar is going to cost him his reputation | Daily Mail Online

It’s official.There is now no bigger preening celebrity hypocrite on the planet than David Beckham , a bloke who will virtue-signal at every given opportunity and then throw his morals out the window in exchange for a gigantic payday from an authoritarian state.This weekend the man formerly known as Goldenballs will land in Doha as star guest at the Qatar Grand Prix as part of a £150 million pact to become the acceptable face of the Middle Eastern regime as it attempts to silence criticism of an appalling human rights record before it hosts the World Cup next year.Becks hopes we’ll all turn a blind eye to his human rights hypocrisy, in the same way we’ve shrugged off his adultery, speeding and refusal to admit he’s had a hair transplant.

But this vile ten-year deal – where he will be paid at least £15 million annually – is a bridge too far for me.How the hell can Beckham take money from a country where homosexuality is punished with a three-year jail sentence and still claim to be a gay rights advocate and best mate of Elton John and who will pull on a Pride T-shirt for a PR stunt on Instagram? There is now no bigger preening celebrity hypocrite on the planet than David Beckham, a bloke who will virtue-signal at every given opportunity and then throw his morals out the window in exchange for a gigantic payday from an authoritarian state, writes DAN WOOTTON How on earth can he claim to have ‘feminism’ in his DNA when he’s gone into business with an administration that forces women to seek male approval to marry, study or travel and where a female rape victim can face seven years in prison for having sex outside marriage? And how can he continue to preach humanitarian causes to us as a Unicef ambassador with a straight face when a recent Amnesty International report slammed Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers, hundreds of whom are believed to have died building multi-billion-pound stadia in 41.5 degree blistering heat? Beckham knows he can’t, but the money, it seems, is just too good.What is it about wealthy celebs who keep wanting more more more, no matter the cost to their reputation? Beckham’s estimated fortune, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, is £380 million, with a £10 million pay boost in 2020 alone.He owns a £31 million mansion in west London, another dream pad in the Cotswolds, a New York apartment and now a £19 million Florida penthouse, where he co-owns the £50 million Inter Miami soccer club.

He has multi-million pound commercial tie ups with online gambling firm Guild Esports, sports giant Adidas, luxury watch company Tudor, whisky brand Haig Club and even the insurance company AIA.That’s before you mention his entertainment interests, which include a deal to make a reality show for Disney+.This weekend the man formerly known as Goldenballs will land in Doha as star guest at the Qatar Grand Prix as part of a £150 million pact to become the acceptable face of the Middle Eastern regime In other words, this is a man who doesn’t need to earn another penny for as long as he lives.So what would drive him to further taint his reputation by going ahead with such a grim tie-up with Qatar? The answer is pure greed.

And shame on his wife Victoria, who he is reported to have consulted before signing the deal, for endorsing such an arrangement.What would the Posh Spice who helped take the Girl Power message to the world 25 years ago have thought? But this is not the first time we’ve seen Beckham’s true colours revealed.

The Beckileaks email trove – illegally released in 2017 – showed his callousness while negotiating his charity work, expecting Unicef to pay for private jets and business class flights for associates so he didn’t have to dip into his own fortune.In one exchange about a £1 million donation for a Unicef dinner, he wrote: ‘I don’t want to put my personal money into this cause.Becks hopes we’ll all turn a blind eye to his human rights hypocrisy To pour this million into the fund, is like putting my own money in.If there was no fund, the money would be for me.This f***ing money is mine.’ And he ranted about a famous former friend being awarded government honours, writing: ‘Katherine Jenkins OBE for what? Singing at the rugby and going to see the troops plus taking coke.F***ing joke.’ At least the Qatar deal means Becks is surely waving goodbye to the chance of a knighthood, which he so desperately craves as another boost to his gigantic ego.Beckham has so far been gutlessly silent on the human rights abuses of Qatar, despite international pressure from human rights organisations.

During a previous trip, he revealed that the country’s leader Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is a pal and said: ‘I think for me it’s what you want in a World Cup.You want to arrive somewhere and feel happy.’ And when asked about a recent visit to the state, where he was flown in by private jet, his PR team stubbornly refused to address questions on the persecution of gay people, women and migrants.Instead, they said in a statement: ‘David has been visiting Qatar regularly for over a decade and … has seen the passion for football in the country and the long-term commitment that’s been made to hosting the World Cup and delivering a lasting legacy for the region.’He’s always talked about the power of football as a force for good on many levels.’ Tell that to the gay folk and rape victims in jail or the families of the dead migrant workers, Becks.

Remember, this deal isn’t with the World Cup, it’s with Qatar.Let me clear, I don’t want to cancel David Beckham – he can do what the hell he wants to earn even more money.That’s absolutely his right.

But I never want society to put this highly flawed individual, who is devoid of morality or brain power, on any sort of moral pedestal again.I never want to hear him preach about human rights or tell us to support a humanitarian cause again.

Because his shady deal with Qatar proves he truly cares about nothing other than his bank balance..