World Cup

Beckham makes first statement on his Qatar World Cup deal

David Beckham told the New York Times that he thought “sport has the power to be a force for good in the world” in his first public statement regarding his contentious multi-million dollar ambassadorship job with World Cup hosts Qatar.

Due to the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player’s scant public appearances at the World Cup, the US tabloid claimed on Friday that Qatar had been disappointed with its return on investment. “The World Cup’s Missing Mouthpiece” was the title of the article.

According to the newspaper, Beckham had strict rules for his public appearances and appeared to be shielded from questions regarding things like Qatar’s homosexuality laws.

His spokesperson responded to the piece by saying: “David has participated in a number of World Cups and other important international competitions as a player and an ambassador, and he has always believed that sport has the potential to be a force for good in the world.

“We understand that there are different and strongly held views about engagement in the Middle East but see it as positive that debate about the key issues has been stimulated directly by the first World Cup being held in the region,” the statement continued.

“We hope that these conversations will lead to greater understanding and empathy toward all people and that progress will be achieved.”

Initial claims from last year claimed that 47-year-old Beckham was being paid $180 million over ten years to promote Qatar; however, more recent sources claim that he will instead receive about $15 million annually for three years with the option to extend.

Beckham, who represented England in the 1998, 2002, and 2006 World Cup finals, is one of the owners of the Inter Miami team in Major League Soccer.

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