Will Young urges David Beckham to donate to LGBTQIA+ charities in Qatar

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Will Young has urged David Beckham to make an annual financial donation to help LGBTQIA+ charities in Qatar after he became a paid ambassador for the country ahead of the World Cup.

The singer, 43, pushed for the former England footballer to take action after he signed a controversial deal with the Fifa World Cup hosts.

The tournament kicked off on Sunday in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal and anyone found participating in same-sex sexual activity can be punished with up to seven years in prison.

England v Iran – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Group B – Khalifa International Stadium
David Beckham in the stands before the Fifa World Cup Group B match at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar (Martin Rickett/PA)

He wrote: “Qatar is of course not the only country in the world with appalling records on human rights. The argument that sport is not political is duplicitous and two-faced.

“What is undoubtedly clear however is a star like you @davidbeckham who I once sang for (not for any money I hasten to add) at your birthday has disappointed me more than I can say.

“Our paths crossed a fair few times due to being with 19 Management and you were always friendly and generous. People do things for money, we all know that.

“Here is what irks me the most – not a WHISPER from yourself David to show solidarity, not a WHISPER from yourself to show support for the practical massacre of migrant workers, not a WHISPER David to help LGBTQIA+ communities living under constant danger.”

Pop Idol winner Young, who wrote a book in 2020 exploring his experience of gay shame, urged Beckham to donate £1 million to LGBTQIA+ charities in Qatar for every year he is a paid ambassador.

He added: “Can something be salvaged from this odious deal? Perhaps those funds can help provide much-needed safety to those living in terror whilst your posters smile down on the people of Qatar.”

It comes after Joe Lycett offered to donate £10,000 of his own money to LGBTQ+ charities if Beckham ended the sponsorship before the tournament started, and if not, he said he would livestream himself shredding the money along with Beckham’s “status as gay icon”.

The comedian, 34, appeared to stand by his decision in a video shared on the same day as the opening game, but later revealed he did not actually shred the money and had donated it instead.

Beckham has been contacted for comment.

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