Joe Lycett shares email to David Beckham’s PR after Qatar ultimatum: ‘There’s still time’

Side by side photos of Joe Lycett and David Beckham

Comedian Joe Lycett shared an update after issuing David Beckham an ultimatum: to cut his ties with Qatar, or watch the comic shred £10,000 of his own money.

Lycett said he hasn’t “heard a peep” from Beckham since he piled the pressure on in a video released on Sunday (13 November), urging the retired footballer to pull out of his multi-million deal to be an ambassador for Qatar during this year’s World Cup.

Qatar has come under fire in the lead-up to the World Cup due to its anti-LGBTQ+ stance; it is illegal to be gay in the country, and abuses against the queer community have been reported in Qatar as recently as October.

“If you end your relationship with Qatar I will donate ten grand of my own money – that’s a grand for every million you’re reportedly getting – to charities that support queer people in football,” Lycett said Sunday.

“However, if you do not I will throw the money into a shredder at midday next Sunday, just before the opening ceremony of the World Cup… Not just the money, but also your status as gay icon will be shredded.”

On Wednesday (16 November), from Lycett shared an email sent to “Beckham’s PR” on Twitter.

“I’ve been a bit daft and publicly announced that I’m going to shred £10k on Sunday if David doesn’t end his relationship with Qatar… we’re now four days out and I haven’t heard a peep from him,” Lycett wrote.

“Could you do me a solid and let me know if there’s any chance he might budge on his position, or am I to expect radio silence on this?

“I really don’t want to shred ten grand!!!”

Lycett added that “there’s still time for David and his team to do the right thing.”

While Lycett’s fans were initially supportive of the publicity stunt, the comments section of his latest tweet are now filled with people urging him to donate the money regardless of whether Beckham responds.

One social media user pointed out that under the current cost-of-living crisis, shredding the money would be “tone-deaf”, and that £10,000 is a “significant” amount to any charity.

LGBTQ+ England fan group Three Lions Pride has also criticised Beckham for taking a deal with Qatar despite the country criminalising homosexuality, stating that it’s “disappointing” as he was previously seen as “a great ally”.

“I’m just so disappointed because we – the LGBTQ+ football family – have put David Beckham on a pedestal, as a great ally,” Three Lions Pride co-founder Di Cunningham said.

“And then it turns out that he’s taking a lot of money to be an ambassador for this World Cup, and that’s incredibly disappointing.”

LGBTQ+ football fans have repeatedly raised concerns about visiting Qatar safely for the World Cup, despite FIFA’s reassurances that the event will be “safe and welcoming”.

Qatar’s ambassador to the UK, however, has said that while queer fans can “hold hands”, they should be “mindful” of “public displays of affection” at the tournament.