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David Beckham finally responds to Joe Lycett’s money-shredding stunt

Beckham’s team gave a statement on a special edition of ‘Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back’ regarding his Qatar deal

Ella Kipling
Friday 16 December 2022 07:54 GMT
Joe Lycett reveals he didn't shred £10,000

David Beckham has responded to Joe Lycett’s money-shredding stunt, more than a month after the comedian first announced it.

On 13 November, Lycett gave Beckham an ultimatum regarding his World Cup ambassador contract with Qatar.

In a social media video, he told the former England footballer that if he did not pull out of his contract, he would shred £10,000 of his own money as well as Beckham’s status as “a gay icon”.

Beckham did not publicly respond, which led to Lycett appearing to destroy the money on a livestream. He later revealed that the money was fake and he had actually donated it to LGBTQ+ charities.

However, on 15 December, Lycett shared a tweet informing followers that Beckham had now responded to the situation.

He wrote: “David Beckham’s team have issued my programme with an exclusive statement, which will be broadcast tonight as part of my Got Your Back special.”

Lycett explained that, as far as he is aware, this is the only statement Beckham or his team have given to any outlet regarding his involvement in Qatar.

“I have been advised that legally I cannot give my opinion on it,” he said, “so you’ll have to make up your own minds.”

The statement reads: “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.

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“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.”

Also appearing in the Got Your Back special were LGBTQ+ football teams, the cast of Footballers’ Wives, and Dr Nasser Mohamed, the first openly gay Qatari.

The trailer showed behind-the-scenes footage of Lycett’s shredding stunt while the comedian says:  “This is me, Joe Lycett, stuck in an underground bunker and about to toss 10 grand of my own money into a garden shredder. All while being ghosted by one of the most famous footballers of all time. How on earth did this happen?”

Joe Lycett (BBC)

When issuing Beckham the ultimatum in November, Lycett said: “You’re the first premiership footballer to do shoots with gay magazines like Attitude, to speak openly about your gay fans, and you married a Spice Girl, which is the gayest thing a human being can do.

“But now it’s 2022. And you signed a reported £10m deal with Qatar to be their ambassador during the FIFA World Cup.”

Citing the World Cup host’s gay rights record, Lycett told Beckham: “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.”

On 9 December, Lycett appeared on Lorraine to further explain his upset over Beckham’s contract with Qatar. 

He said: “This is the thing, I’m open for countries to be diverse and to have their own beliefs and all of these things.

David Beckham (Getty Images)

“But I think as a baseline, I think killing people and jailing them for being who they are, should be condemned across the board wherever it happens. It happens far too much across the world. And it happens here sometimes, so we should always call it out.”

Lycett told Lorraine Kelly that he would still love to speak to Beckham and is still “holding out hope”.

“There’s still time for him to change his mind. The World Cup has not yet finished,” he said.

Lycett’s Got Your Back special aired on 15 December at 9pm on Channel 4.

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