Joe Lycett threatens to shred £10,000 if David Beckham remains Qatar World Cup ambassador
David Beckham's decision to endorse Qatar for a reported £10m could prove costly to his hard-earned reputation, as ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery reports
Joe Lycett is threatening to shred £10,000 if David Beckham remains an ambassador for Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Birmingham comedian took to Twitter to give the "gay icon" and former England football captain the ultimatum after he had signed a reported £10 million deal with Qatar.
If Beckham withdraws as an ambassador for the FIFA World Cup, the 34-year-old will donate £10,000 to charities supporting Queer people in football - £1,000 for every £1 million Beckham is being paid.
However, if the ex-Manchester United star remains as a brand ambassador for the World Cup, Lycett will shred the money on a livestream, just before the opening ceremony on Sunday night.
It is illegal to shred, destroy or deface money in the UK, however, Lycett said he will come off "more lightly" than if he were to be gay in Doha.
In the video, that has over two million views, he said: "This is a message to David Beckham.
"I consider you, along with Kim Woodburn and Monty Don, to be a gay icon."
Beckham was the first premiership footballer to do shoots with gay magazines like Attitude and to speak openly about his gay fans.
Lycett continued: "And you married a spice girl, which is the gayest thing a human being can do.
"But now it's 2022 and you've reportedly signed a £10 million deal with Qatar to be their ambassador during the FIFA World Cup.
"Qatar was voted 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."
He continued: "You've always talked about the power of football as a force for good, which suggests to me that you've never seen West Brom.
"But generally I agree. So with that in mind, I'm giving you a choice.
"If you end your relationship with Qatar, I'll donate this 10 grand of my own money,' he said, sliding the cash in front of him. "That's a grand for every million you're reportedly getting, to charities that support Queer people in football.
"However if you do not, at midday next Sunday I will throw this money into a shredder, just before the opening ceremony of the World Cup, and stream it live on a website I've registered called benderslikebeckham.com.
"Not just the money, but your status as a gay icon will be shredded.
"You'll be forcing me to commit a crime.
"The choice is yours. I look forward to hearing from you."
Lawrence Barton, the owner of several Birmingham venues, speaks on his decision to not show coverage of the World Cup
Lawrence Barton, the director of Birmingham Pride celebrations, nighttime economy champion for Birmingham City Council and who has a number of venues in Birmingham's Gay Village, is "standing in solidarity" with the LGBTQ+ community.
He told ITV News Central he will not be showing coverage of the Qatar World Cup matches in his venues because of the country's "absolutely wrong" human rights record.
Despite losing "thousands of pounds of potential earnings", he said he hopes other bars and pubs will "do the same and follow suit".
ITV News Central has contacted David Beckham and the Qatar embassy.