Twitter [@joelycett]

Joe Lycett has publicly called for David Beckham to end his deal with the Qatar World Cup, pointing out the hypocrisy of the footballer’s appreciation of his LGBTQ+ fans whilst also receiving reportedly up to £10 million from the country, where it is illegal to be gay. 

Beckham was the first premiership footballer to embrace having an LGBTQ+ fanbase, acknowledging them and doing photoshoots with gay publications.

In response, Lycett has launched a website ‘’ alongside a video message to the athlete, explaining why he is opposed to this deal. 

“You’ve signed a reported £10 million deal with Qatar to be their ambassador during the FIFA World Cup,” the comedian said. 

“Qatar was voted as the 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.”

Lycett has said that if Beckham does end this deal, he will donate £10,000 to LGBTQ+ charities. If he doesn’t, he will instead shred the money on livestream, just before the Qatar World Cup opening ceremony. 

Lycett, a pansexual comedian and TV presenter, is no stranger to unorthodox methods to getting his message across. In 2020, he legally changed his name to ‘Hugo Boss’ to protest the fashion brand sending cease and desist letters to small businesses using ‘Boss’ in their product names and branding

He is not alone in being an LGBTQ+ football fan disappointed by Beckham signing a deal with this year’s World Cup. In a recent press briefing for the Sport & Rights Alliance, Di Cunningham, a co-founder of Three Lions Pride, an LGBTQ+ England football fans group, stated: “One of the difficulties is having people taking the money in order to promote Qatar and the World Cup,” she said. “I’m just so disappointed because we – the LGBTQ+ football family – have put David Beckham on a pedestal, as a great ally.”

There have also been calls from Human Rights Watch for a framework to be put in place to prevent FIFA competitions being held in countries that do not uphold basic human rights in future, The Guardian reported. 

Minky Worden, a spokesperson for the organisation, said: “There can never again be a World Cup that does not uphold basic human rights and puts athletes whose job is their place of work in the invidious position of having to fear for their identity.”

The Qatar World Cup takes place 20 November – 18 December.