October 5 – David Beckham has fiercely defended his decision to accept millions of pounds from Qatar to serve as a football ambassador for last year’s World Cup.
The global football icon and former England captain accepted the role despite the country’s stance on LGBTQ+ rights, general human rights issues and a ban on homosexuality
Speaking at the premiere of his new Netflix documentary, Beckham said: “Let the football do the talking, it was a great tournament, a lot of people were happy.
“I had a lot of conversations with the LGBTQ community when I was there. They said they had enjoyed the games and they felt it was the safest World Cup they’d had for a long time, it was an important competition and one I was proud to be a part of.”
“I do a lot of research into partners that I’m going into business with. And I wanted to be involved in another World Cup. I like to see the game grow, and that means it going into territories it hasn’t been in before.”
“I knew there’d be questions, I knew there was going to be criticism, but I’ve always been a believer that football is such a powerful tool. I knew that once the World Cup started, not that it would go away, but it was all then about how people were treated, how people weren’t excluded, what an experience the World Cup would be.”
The four-part series Beckham follows Beckham’s career with Manchester United as well as his relationship with wife Victoria.
While several controversial moments are discussed, any comments relating to his involvement in last year’s event in Qatar ended up being left out with director Fisher Stevens reported as explaining it felt “kind of dated”.
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