The 2022 World Cup will take place in Qatar. It will be the first World Cup organized in an Arab country.
Qatar is an extremely wealthy peninsula in the Middle East that juts out from Saudi Arabia into the Persian Gulf. Qatar is smaller than the state of Connecticut, but it happens to be on the third largest source of natural gas in the world and one of the 15 largest sources of oil.
Thanks to these incredibly lucky geographic circumstances, Qatar is the richest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita. This is how their police drive Bugattis, Porsches and Lamborghinis (seriously, google… although I think the vast majority of Qatari police cars are Suzuki and other more normal SUVs).
This is how the Qatari royal family can afford to pay a billion dollar ransom when a few dozen family members were kidnapped in Iraq on a falconry excursion.
This is also how the tiny country can pay David Beckham $ 200 million to become its tourism ambassador.
In a deal just revealed by the Daily Mail, David Beckham is reportedly earning around $ 20 million a year over the next 10 years to “act as the country’s ambassador and promote tourism and culture.”
The deal has been described as worth over $ 20 million a year, but also potentially up to $ 277 million over the decade.
Unfortunately, this put Beckham in hot water as Qatar is also quite controversial.
According to Amnesty International:
“Qatar’s human rights record is troubling – from the country’s long-standing mistreatment of migrant workers to its restrictions on free speech and the criminalization of same-sex relationships … Of particular concern is Qatar’s mistreatment of migrant workers – the people whose hard work makes the World Cup possible.“
The US State Department has accused Qatar of engaging in forced labor, especially in the run-up to the World Cup. A Guardian analysis alleged that as many as 6,500 migrant workers died while working on World Cup-related projects.
The Daily Mail claims that homosexuality in Qatar is punishable by three years in prison and that men can be thrown in prison just for “appearing” to be gay.
It should be noted that neither Qatar nor Beckham have publicly confirmed the approval deal, but Daily Mail sources say it is official. In addition, private jet spotters have tracked Beckham’s personal plane to and from the country on several occasions recently. While touring the country during a visit, he praised the hotels and stadiums in Qatar.
Some critics are trying to figure out how Beckham can reconcile his endorsement of Qatar and his work as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador and his steadfast support for LGBTQ rights.
Beckham is certainly not the first celebrity to land in Qatari hot water. In 2017, Jennifer Lopez was humiliated after receiving $ 3 million for appearing at an event in Qatar where she did a 20-minute question-and-answer session on women’s rights.
Rothna Begum, senior women’s rights researcher at the Human Rights Watch campaign group, said this about Beckham’s deal:
“Celebrities who are paid to promote the Qatari state and who see themselves as pro-women and women’s rights should take the opportunity and access to those in positions of power to inquire about what is happening. happens.“
On the other hand… it’s $ 200 million… I don’t care if you’re already worth almost half a billion dollars (that’s our current estimate for Mr. Mrs. Beckham), $ 20 million per year over 10 years to smile and greet in a few advertisements… hard to resist!
Would you accept money from Qatar?