David Beckham 2022Getty Images

Man Utd & England legend Beckham responds to criticism of Qatar World Cup ambassador role

  • Ex-Three Lions captain a face of event
  • Reported to have agreed a big-money deal
  • Questions asked of his involvement with tournament

WHAT HAPPENED? The former Three Lions captain was reported to have struck a £150 million ($182m) deal that would see him become an official face of the historic tournament in the Middle East. Said agreement saw Beckham questioned by some, with Qatar’s human rights record being thrust under the spotlight, but the former United and Real Madrid superstar – who is now a co-owner of MLS franchise Inter Miami – is adamant that his involvement in the global showpiece was intended to be a “force for good”.

WHAT THEY SAID: A spokesperson for Beckham has said: “David has been involved in a number of World Cups and other major international tournaments both as a player and an ambassador and he has always believed that sport has the power to be a force for good in the world. 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.”

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: The 2022 World Cup is now drawing to a close, with Argentina set to face France in an eagerly-anticipated final showdown on Sunday that will see Lionel Messi go head to head with Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

Beckham Getty Images

Beckham Inter Miami Getty

David Beckham England

WHAT NEXT? While Beckham will be an interested spectator at the Qatar 2022 showpiece, away from international football there have been suggestions that he could be involved in a consortium that launches a bid to wrestle control of Manchester United away from the Glazer family – with the American owners at Old Trafford opening themselves up to takeover offers.

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