David Beckham finally addresses his controversial World Cup role as Joe Lycett reads out a statement

David Beckham has finally issued a statement to Joe Lycett after the comedian pretended to “write £10,000” over the footballer’s £10m World Cup deal with Qatar.

Last month, Joe pulled off a stunt in which he threatened to destroy £10,000 of his own money unless David Beckham pulled out of the deal with World Cup hosts Qatar, where homosexuality remains illegal.

And after repeated attempts by Joe to comment, David’s team have finally addressed the issue as they noted that the sportsman sees it as “a positive that debate on key issues has been stimulated” by the World Cup being played in the country.

Delayed: David Beckham has finally issued a statement to Joe Lycett after the comedian pretended to ‘write £10,000’ over the footballer’s £10m World Cup deal with Qatar

Joe read the statement on a special edition of his show Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, which read in full: ‘David has been involved in a number of World Cups and other major international tournaments both as a player and as an ambassador and has always believed that sport has 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 local communities.

“We understand that there are different and strongly held views on engagement in the Middle East, but see it as a positive that the debate on the key issues has been stimulated directly by the first World Cup to be 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.”

Not Impressed : Joe read the statement from David's people in full, but was not allowed to comment on it

Not Impressed : Joe read the statement from David’s people in full, but was not allowed to comment on it

Warning: The comic issued an ultimatum to Beckham after it was reported he had signed a £10m deal with Qatar

Ultimatum: Last month Joe pulled a stunt in which he threatened to destroy £10,000 of his own money unless David Beckham pulled out of the deal with World Cup hosts Qatar

After reading the statement about his show, Joe said he wasn’t allowed to speak his mind about it.

However, he read a tweet from a Twitter account which branded him a ‘k**b’ and said his stunt ‘achieved nothing’ – the latter of which Joe agreed with.

The star looked distraught as he told the crowd: “I achieved nothing, Beckham still hasn’t addressed the issues facing LGBTQ people in Qatar.”

He continued: ‘People say to me “why does it mean so much to you?” and the reason it matters is because if someone like me lived in Qatar, they wouldn’t be able to be someone like me.’

Joe then went on to address LGBTQ allies, noting that if someone wants to be an ally, they should be someone to rely on at all times, not just when it’s convenient.

Answer: After repeated attempts by Joe to comment, David’s team have finally addressed the issue as they noted that the sportsman sees it as “a positive that debate on key issues has been stimulated” by the World Cup being played in the country.

He said: ‘I want to talk about allies, especially companies and celebrities who like to think they are allies of our society, who are happy to put on a rainbow when it doesn’t cost them anything, but then the other way when it came to the World Cup .

“What I am saying is that we need allies, but allies we can trust not to run away the moment it looks difficult, or when the first yellow card is threatened.

“We need everyone to be our ally, and we need them to remember that being an ally is for life, not just for Christmas deals.”

And while he couldn’t directly respond to David’s comment, earlier in the show, Joe hit out at David’s Qatar role, saying: “I’m angry at his blatant hypocrisy and failure to be an ally to the LGBTQ community.”

Big deal: The comic previously issued an ultimatum to the former England footballer after it was reported he had signed a £10m deal with the FIFA World Cup.

Big deal: The comic previously issued an ultimatum to the former England footballer after it was reported he had signed a £10m deal with the FIFA World Cup.

With the comedy star going on to add: “We deserve better from our national hero.”

He also branded Victoria Beckham’s husband a “disgrace” as he told how it was “disappointing because he hasn’t changed his mind.”

Throughout the programme, Joe recounted his journey to get David to do a u-turn on his ambassadorial role, revealing that he had had no response to his then-upcoming cash-shredding stunt.

Last month, Lycett released the video which controversially appeared to show him shredding the money, but later revealed it was a hoax and he had already donated the money to LGBTQ+ charities.

Disappointing: The star looked distraught as he told the crowd: 'I achieved nothing, he still hasn't addressed the issue'

Disappointing: The star looked distraught as he told the crowd: ‘I achieved nothing, he still hasn’t addressed the issue’

It comes after Joe recently explained how he completed his recent stunt of pretending to withdraw £10,000 over David’s £10million World Cup deal with Qatar.

Speaking about Jeremy Vine on the 5th, the comedian explained that the money he put into the machine was real, but that it was collected in a bucket.

There were then two cans holding the fake money which came out “shredded” on the other side.

Poignant: “People say to me

Poignant: ‘People say to me “why does it mean so much to you?” and the reason it matters is because if someone like me lived in Qatar, they wouldn’t be able to be someone like me.

He said: ‘There was a lot behind the scenes, a lot of stress really. That whole weekend I was so wracked with anxiety and fear because it felt very wrong, it felt very scary to do what I did.’

Joe added: “I knew I needed to do something like that to generate the press and intrigue.

“Which is really depressing. You would hope that human rights being abused would create its own intrigue.’

Explanation: Joe recently explained how he managed to pretend to withdraw £10,000 over David Beckham's £10m World Cup deal with Qatar

Explanation: Joe recently explained how he managed to pretend to withdraw £10,000 over David Beckham’s £10m World Cup deal with Qatar

Explaining how the machine worked, he said: ‘If you had put real money into the machine, it wouldn’t have come out like this.

“It’s really a bit of theatre, but I wanted it to look as dark and as shocking as possible. I think we did it.

Joe said the real money was put into the shredder to make the stunt look more realistic instead of fake money, which has different dimensions.

The comedian said: ‘We knew if we used them [fake money], people would go “oh that’s fake” immediately. We needed real money to go into the shredder to look legit.’

Controversy: Joe said the money he put into the machine was real but it was collected in a bucket and the fake money was in two cans that came out

Controversy: Joe said the money he put into the machine was real, but that it was collected in a bucket and the fake money was in two cans that came out “shredded” on the other side

Asked what happened to the £10,000, he said it was returned to the bank as he had already donated the money to charity.

Joe also spoke to global journalists Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel on their podcast, The News Agents earlier this month about hearing from Beckham’s people after the stunt.

He explained: “I haven’t heard directly from Beckham, we’ve had some movement with his people.”

Emily, laughing, added: ‘Wait, is that like a subpoena, or a lawsuit, or a friendly hello?’

Joe said: “I would love to be sued by him, what a twist that would be. Initially, we had some contact with them. But legally at the moment I’m not sure what I’m allowed to say.

‘I’m not happy with where we’ve come, let’s put it that way.’

Ambassador: Joe said he has had some contact with David Beckham's (pictured in Qatar) people following his plea to the ex-footballer to end ties with the country

Ambassador: Joe said he has had some contact with David Beckham’s (pictured in Qatar) people following his plea to the ex-footballer to end ties with the country

Emily continued: “So they offer positive traits, money? Or donations?’ and Joe replied, ‘No. They don’t really offer anything. They just talk to us a little.

“I think they’re just trying to make it go away. Which it eventually will, and it won’t affect him in the long term.’

Jon Sopel added: “I honestly can’t think of anything that’s been done, in PR or advertising, for ten thousand that’s gotten that much attention.

Joe is openly pansexual, meaning he is attracted to all genders, and he has spoken about being queer and advocated for LGBTQ+ rights on many occasions.

The WC takes place in Qatar – where homosexuality is still illegal and anyone found participating in same-sex sexual activity can be punished with up to seven years in prison.

Contact: On Nov. 16, Lycett shared an email sent to Beckham's PR saying there were only four days left, stressing he didn't want to be forced to shred the money

Contact: On Nov. 16, Lycett shared an email sent to Beckham’s PR saying there were only four days left, stressing he didn’t want to be forced to shred the money

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