Joe Lycett has thrown £10,000 into a tree shredder, in protest of David Beckham’s involvement in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – watch the footage below.
The World Cup kicks off today (November 20) despite growing criticism around the deaths of thousands of migrant workers in the creation of stadiums as well as the country’s views on homosexuality, which is illegal in Qatar.
Last week (November 13), Lycett criticised David Beckham’s role as a tournament ambassador, which has reportedly netted him £10million. In a video message, the comedian offered to donate £10,000 of his own money to queer charities if Beckham ended the sponsorship before the tournament started. If not, he promised he would shred the cash on the opening day of the tournament.
“I consider you to be a gay icon,” said Lycett in the message, which was shared on his new website BendersLikeBeckham. “You’ve signed a reported £10million deal with Qatar to be their ambassador during the FIFA World Cup. Qatar was voted as one of the worst places in the world to be gay – homosexuality is illegal, punishable by imprisonment, and if you’re Muslim, possibly even death”
“You have always talked about the power of football as a force for good,” he added, however Beckham never responded, so earlier today Lycett shredded the £10,000. Watch the footage below.
“A platform for progress” pic.twitter.com/EeMelv01nu
— Joe Lycett (@joelycett) November 20, 2022
However Lycett has received plenty of criticism himself, since revealing his plan. “Please don’t shred the money. That’s a lifeline to a small charity,” one person tweeted.
Another person wrote: “Could you include a clause that the £10k could actually go to a cause instead of being wasted? Loads available. Or maybe to Beckham’s pet hate. But not totally wasted.”
“For the love of Christ, Joe, do not ACTUALLY waste that literally life-changing amount of money for the sake of naming and shaming a celebrity footballer,” a third person added.
Can't believe David Beckham allowed this to happen
— Dale Bennett (@DaleBennett91) November 20, 2022
In the run-up to the tournament beginning, Dua Lipa has denied rumours that she was to perform at the opening ceremony and called on Qatar to “fulfil all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host the World Cup,” while Rod Stewart revealed that he also turned down the opportunity to be a part of the celebrations for moral reasons.
Robbie Williams has defended his decision to perform at the World Cup Qatar 2022 though.“I don’t condone any abuses of human rights anywhere,” Williams said. “But, that being said, if we’re not condoning human rights abuses anywhere, then it would be the shortest tour the world has ever known: I wouldn’t even be able to perform in my own kitchen”.