David Beckham has been slammed by human rights activists after reportedly signing a deal worth £150m to become the face of Qatari Football ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
According to The Sun, the star will ‘promote tourism and culture’ for the next decade in the country, which will see him rake in £15m per year.
In light of this, the CEO of Amnesty International UK, Sacha Deshmukh, has urged him to address the ‘deeply concerning human rights situation in Qatar’.
She said: “Qatar’s mistreatment of migrant workers – the people whose hard work is making the World Cup possible – is especially disturbing.
“Despite some welcome reforms, migrant workers are still being left unpaid, and the authorities have failed to investigate thousands of deaths in the past decade despite evidence of links between premature deaths and unsafe, searingly-hot working conditions.
“More needs to be done for this World Cup to leave a positive legacy and transform the human rights situation in Qatar.
“FIFA has an important role to play in helping to drive change in Qatar – especially in raising labour abuses associated with World Cup preparations.
“David Beckham should use his unique worldwide profile to keep the world’s focus on the human rights issues surrounding the matches, and not just the play on the pitch.”
The former footballer has also been criticised for the reported deal by LGBT activists, who say Qatar is ‘one of the most dangerous places in the world’ for LGBT people.
In a statement released to The Telegraph responding to the criticism, a spokesperson for Beckham said: “David has been visiting Qatar regularly for over a decade and went on to play for [Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain] so he has seen the passion for football in the country and the long-term commitment that’s been made to hosting this World Cup and delivering a lasting legacy for the region.
“He’s always talked about the power of football as a force for good.
“As we reach the one-year-to-go point, he joins the wider football community that is coming together for the World Cup 2022 and he’s looking forward to what he thinks will be a great tournament.”
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