David Beckham backlash Qatar video FIFA World Cup 2022

David Beckham backlash Qatar video FIFA World Cup 2022

“Qatar has surprised me with a wide range of great experiences you can have in just 48 hours. The people are warm and welcoming, and it is a great place to spend a few days,” Beckham said in a promotional video

David Beckham
In the video, Beckham is seen discovering Qatar as he explores the winding spice markets of Souq Waqif and other places. Beckham is seen here on a Dhow cruise.

Ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, British football star David Beckham is facing criticism over his whirlwind tour to the country.

Qatar Tourism has launched a new stopover holiday campaign featuring Beckham to support the country’s tourism goals and ambition to attract more than six million visitors a year by 2030.

The campaign revealed Beckham’s action-packed adventure around the country over the course of 48 hours, showing how Qatar offers visitors everything from cultural hotspots to scenic landscapes.

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In the video, Beckham is seen discovering Qatar as he explores the winding spice markets of Souq Waqif, soaks up local street art, cooks tacos infused with local flavors, camps in the desert, and sightseeing around Doha by motorbike.

Beckham said: “Qatar has surprised me with a wide range of great experiences you can have in just 48 hours. The people are warm and welcoming, and it is a great place to spend a few days… Qatar really is an incredible place to spend a few days on a stopover. This is perfection. I cannot wait to bring my children back here.”

“The people of Qatar are really passionate about their culture and the mix of modern and traditional creates something really special. I saw so much during my trip, from spice markets to museums to enjoying a ride on my motorbike, which was one of the highlights,” he added.

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The former England football team captain’s appearance in the video has led to criticism online. He was slammed for endorsing Qatar, which has been under scrutiny over its treatment of migrant laborers in building infrastructure for the FIFA World Cup, and also several other issues including laws prohibiting LGBTQ+ relationships.

According to an ITV News report, Mustafa Qadri, the CEO of Equidem – a human rights and labor rights charity, said that Beckham’s participation in the tourism promotion was “incredibly naive and blind,” especially given recent reports alleging migrant labor abuses.

He said: “We’ve known for at least the beginning of the year that David Beckham has reportedly been paid £150 million to promote Qatar, but frankly given all the news that’s coming out about the human rights situation in Qatar it really is quite galling.”

In the report, Felix Jakens, Amnesty International UK’s Head of Priority Campaigns, was quoted as saying: “This is just the latest slick and positive video about Qatar that David Beckham has put his face to, and yet again there’s no mention of the county’s appalling human rights record.

“Beckham’s global fame and status are PR gold for Qatar’s image, but he should be using that same unique profile to call on FIFA and the Qatari authorities to properly remedy the terrible abuses that tens of thousands of migrant workers have faced in building the infrastructure to deliver the World Cup.

“Beckham has said he hoped football would prove a force for good in Qatar. At the moment it seems his involvement is good news for Qatar’s tourist industry, not for human rights.”

Also read: 1.8 million tickets sold for FIFA World Cup 2022

“David Beckham, self-declared feminist + @UNICEF ambassador, kicks off multi-million pound campaign to bring tourists to Qatar, describing it as an ‘incredible place’. …aside from it being illegal to be gay + women still need permission to study or marry. (sic),” a Twitter user commented.

Another user said, “David Beckham says he cannot wait to bring his kids to Qatar, as he accepts £10 million to advertise the Gulf dictatorship. If his children were gay he would not be allowed to bring them to Qatar because being gay is illegal there. How easily some are bought.”

A user questioned Beckham on why he did not talk to migrant workers in Qatar. “Hey #DavidBeckham did you forget to hear from #migrantworkers who have built the #Qatar2022 @FIFAcom #WorldCup2022 hotels and stadiums? Ready for intros when you are.”

Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Chairman of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “It has been a pleasure to welcome David to Qatar, where he has immersed himself in the culture and experienced first-hand the warm hospitality of our people. I encourage the millions who transit through Qatar every year to follow in David’s footsteps and create their own exciting adventure and memories. We have something for everyone at incredible value, whether it’s sun, sea and sand, rich heritage and culture, surprising nature, or a modern and fun city break.”

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