AceShowbiz - David Beckham has once again addressed the criticism of the Qatar World Cup ambassadorship. After British comedian Joe Lycett urged him to step down from his role fronting the tournament due to the country's criminalization of LGBTQ+ people, the former soccer pro player issued a statement.
"David has been involved in a number of World Cups and other major international tournaments both as a player and an ambassador and he has always believed that sport has the power to be a force for good in the world," so read the statement shared by the 47-year-old's publicist. "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 a positive that debate about the key issues has been stimulated directly by the first World Cup being held in the region," the message added. "We hope that these conversations will lead to greater understanding and empathy towards all people and that progress will be achieved."
David has previously responded to the backlash. Insisting that Qatar and its ambassadors are changing lives for the better, he added that "the pitch would be a platform for progress." He continued, "Dreams can come true. That is why you are here. You share Generation Amazing's twin passions for the game of football and for making the world a more tolerant and inclusive place."
According to reports, David signed a £150 million (around $184 million) deal to become the face of the host nation. His endorsements included a promotional film for Visit Qatar, in which he said, "The modern and traditional fuse to create something really special.