David Beckham responds to Joe Lycett's criticism on Qatar World Cup involvement

16 December 2022, 12:14 | Updated: 16 December 2022, 12:41

David Beckham and Joe Lycett
David Beckham's official statement on Qatar was aired on television last night. Picture: 1. Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty 2. Twitter/JoeLycett

Beckham released a statement via a spokesperson on a special edition of Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, which aired on Thursday.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

David Beckham has responded to Joe Lycett's stunt in which the comedian threatened to shred £10k unless he ended his involvement with the FIFA Qatar World Cup.

The former footballer faced widespread criticism for his agreement to be an ambassador for Qatar during the FIFA World Cup due to the country's human rights record.

Now, he's finally addressed the backlash on a special edition of Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, which aired this Thursday (15th December).

The statement, which came via a spokesperson, began: "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."

READ MORE: Joe Lycett admits faking £10k shredding in Beckham Qatar row as he donates money to LGBTQ+ charities instead

It continued: "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."

READ MORE: Joe Lycett changes name by Deed Poll to Hugo Boss

The show aired after Lycett appeared to shred £10,000 live on social media, alongside a copy of Beckham's Attitude magazine cover.

However, a day later he shared another clip, proving it was a stunt and revealing he donated the money to an LGBTQ+ charity instead.

Taking to Twitter on Monday 21st November, he said: "This is my final message to David Beckham.

"It's me! The pr** who shredded lots of money in a cost of living crisis. So where were we?

"I told you I was going to destroy £10,000 if you didn't end your relationship with Qatar before the first day of the World Cup. And then when you didn’t end your relationship or even respond in any way, I streamed myself dropping £10k into a shredder."

READ MORE: Joe Lycett's spoof Sue Gray report 'sparks panic' as mistaken for "serious leak"

The comic continued: "Or did I? I haven’t quite told you the whole truth...

"Because the truth is the money that went into the shredder was real, but the money that came out was fake.

"I would never destroy real money. I would never be so irresponsible. In fact, the ten grand had already been donated to LGBTQ+ charities before I even pressed send on the initial tweet last week.”

READ MORE: Joe Lycett leads comedians in "b******" Imagine cover parody after Gal Gadot post

Latest UK and World News

Kevin Campbell has died

Arsenal and Everton footballer Kevin Campbell dies aged 54

Alan Bates, Imelda Staunton and Tracey Emin were given honours in the birthday list

Post Office campaigner Alan Bates knighted in Birthday Honours, as Imelda Staunton and Tracey Emin made dames

Ben Habib has hit back at suggestions Nigel Farage could join the Conservative party

Reform deputy hits back at suggestion Nigel Farage could join Tories, after leader tells LBC he could lead merged party

Millwall's Matija Sarkic died

Millwall goalkeeper Matija Sarkic dies aged 26, as club 'completely devastated'

David Cameron and Nigel Farage

David Cameron says Nigel Farage is trying to destroy the Conservative Party through Reform UK