Human rights activists criticized David Beckham on Thursday for starring in a flashy promotional campaign hailing the World Cup host nation of Qatar as “ideal” despite reservations about its human rights record.
Qatar Is Perfect For David Beckham
In a series of films on Qatar Tourism’s website, the former Manchester United, Real Madrid, and England player can say, “This is perfection for me!” while visiting a desert camp and sampling local cuisine and art.
According to Beckham’s statement in the advertisement video, the Arab nation “truly is a great spot to spend a few days on a stopover.”
Felix Jakens, head of priority campaigns at Amnesty International UK, referred to the advertisements as “simply the latest sleek and positive video promoting Qatar that David Beckham has given his face to.” Beckham chastised the London-based rights watchdog for “making no mention of the country’s dismal human rights record.”
Beckham’s Deal with Qatar
Beckham reportedly agreed to a deal last year to promote the gas-rich Gulf nation, which will host the FIFA World Cup from 2022 to 2023, for 150 million euros (about 172 million USD). He received the position of cultural ambassador.
Jakens urged Beckham to utilize his “special profile” to draw attention to the “awful injustices” that tens of thousands of migrant workers had experienced while working on World Cup construction sites worth billions of dollars.
Amnesty urged earlier this year that FIFA, the organization that oversees world football, establish a USD 440 million fund for “abused” workers in Qatar.
The Political State Of The Situation
The Arab nation has been accused of underreporting worker fatalities and injuries, as well as grievances over underpaid salaries.
Regarding its adherence to the rights of women and the LGBTQIA+ community, there are additional concerns.
Since it was given the World Cup in 2010, the tiny state with fundamentalist Muslim officials has been in the limelight on human rights issues.
Before the opening kick of the 32-nation tournament on November 20th, critics claim that more pressure must be placed on FIFA and Qatar due to the country’s uneven progress over the previous ten years.
Qatar disputes the number of migrant worker fatalities cited by some international media. It asserts that since being chosen to host the World Cup, it has made several changes to its workplace laws.
The Situation Simplified
David Beckham, 47, enjoys a few days in the gulf nation, eating food, visiting markets, and riding a motorcycle in the one-minute documentary “David Beckham’s Qatar stopover.” Visit Qatar has also produced a complete 30-minute version of the film.
It’s again another lovely day in Qatar, he declares. “I’ll always remember this morning as one of my favorites. Qatar takes great pride in its culture. Modern and traditional elements combine to produce something truly unique.”
Social media users criticized Beckham. One Twitter user commented: “I am not sure I would term the place perfection in a place [Qatar] where it’s illegal to be gay, and ladies have to be chaperoned by men. Oh, that’s before bringing up the countless slaves who lost their lives constructing FIFA stadiums.
Beckham’s representative recently stated: “David has been visiting Qatar regularly for more than ten years and went on to play for (Qatar-owned) PSG, so he has seen the passion for football in the nation and the huge commitment that has been formed for hosting the World Cup and trying to deliver a lasting legacy for the region.
It is debatable whether kindness is given top importance in Qatar, where unmarried women cannot leave the nation without their father’s consent, and LGBT persons are subject to the death penalty under Sharia law.
Beckham’s Assurance To Fans
Beckham has given assurances to supporters that they will feel comfortable and be permitted to fly rainbow flags, which are a symbol of the LGBTQ community, inside stadiums.
Although homosexuality is prohibited, the law, which is the same in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is increasingly applied more liberally. David was also made aware of the rise of women in politics.
Before signing, he sought advice from his wife Victoria, 47, whose musical group The Spice Girls was known for songs about “female strength” or “girl power.”
Recently, a source claimed: “David believes in Qatar’s dedication to the development and that the World Cup, the first to be staged in the Arab world, may bring about meaningful improvements.
He has a deep belief in the ability of football to unite people, but, more importantly, he has witnessed improvement on important topics.
David will also attract more tourists and promote culture because he connects to Qatar by playing for Paris St-Germain. Earlier this year, Beckham also signed a lucrative endorsement contract to serve as the global representative for the F45 chain of fitness centers.