Beloved former footballer David Beckham has found himself amid a wave of fresh criticism from human rights campaigners, who slammed the star for praising Qatar as ‘perfection’ in his tourist videos .
Beckham has appeared in a series of videos on the Qatar Tourism website where he is seen visiting desert camps and tasting local food – basically everything you would expect from a tourist video. Sadly, his delivery on the “This is perfection to me” line has rattled many human rights activists.
It saw Amnesty International call out the former star athlete for ‘yet again’ not acknowledging the abuses in helping the country raise tourism dollars. The London-based company called out Beckham for “making no mention of the country’s appalling human rights record”, according to multiple outlets.
This is not the first time the former England captain has come under fire for his partnership with Qatar Tourism. Last year, he reportedly signed a deal worth $172 million to promote the state and assumed the title of cultural ambassador.
This prompted Sacha Deshmukh, CEO of Amnesty International UK, to say in October 2021 that the group urges him to learn about the deeply concerning human rights situation in Qatar and be prepared to speak out about it. “Qatar’s human rights record is troubling – from the country’s long-standing mistreatment of migrant workers, to restrictions on free speech and the criminalization of same-sex relationships. Qatar’s mistreatment of migrant workers – the people whose hard work makes the World Cup possible – is particularly worrying,” Deshmukh said.
He added that more needs to be done instead of the World Cup to leave a positive legacy and transform the human rights situation in Qatar.
“FIFA has an important role to play in helping to drive change in Qatar – in particular by increasing the labor abuses associated with World Cup preparations. David Beckham should use his unique global profile to keep the world’s attention on human rights issues surrounding matches, not just the game on the pitch.
Earlier this year, the group also wrote an open letter to FIFA to set aside at least $440 million to compensate migrant workers it says suffered ahead of the sporting event.
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