David Beckham visits Qatar after signing £10m deal to represent bloody regime for World Cup 2022


David Beckham has been pictured schmoozing officials in Qatar after being accused of turning a blind eye to human rights abuses in the country when he signed a £10million-plus deal to be the Gulf State’s ambassador.  

The former football star, 46, was the star attraction at the Formula One Grand Prix in Doha on Sunday as he was pictured hugging Qatari businessman Nasser Al-Khelaifi – owner of the Paris Saint-Germain football club – while being guided around the site by officials. 

The ex-England captain donned a tight-fitting navy suit jacket, blue shirt and green tie as he was pictured touring the grid and Paddock and posing for pictures with F1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart and winner-to-be of the event Lewis Hamilton.  

The father-of-four has been criticised by human rights groups after signing the ambassador deal with the authoritarian state, which bans homosexuality and severely restricts women’s rights.

But the latest snaps suggest he has chosen to ignore the critics as he appeared front and centre among VIPs on Sunday. 

Beckham visited and posed for pictures with the Ferrari team and sat down for a chat with Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the Formula One Group. 

But while usually prolific on social media, the football icon has yet to post about his Middle East visit, including his meeting with Hamilton. 

The former football star, 46, was the star attraction at the Formula One Grand Prix in Doha on Sunday as he was pictured hugging Qatari businessman Nasser Al-Khelaifi

The former football star, 46, was the star attraction at the Formula One Grand Prix in Doha on Sunday as he was pictured hugging Qatari businessman Nasser Al-Khelaifi

The ex-England captain donned a tight-fitting navy suit, blue shirt and green tie as he was pictured touring the event grounds and posing for pictures (Pictured: Beckham hugs Nasser Al-Khelaifi before the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar at Losail International Circuit on Sunday)

The ex-England captain donned a tight-fitting navy suit, blue shirt and green tie as he was pictured touring the event grounds and posing for pictures (Pictured: Beckham hugs Nasser Al-Khelaifi before the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar at Losail International Circuit on Sunday) 

The father-of-four has been criticised by human rights groups after signing the ambassador deal with the authoritarian state, which bans homosexuality and severely restricts women's rights (Pictured: Beckham at Doha Grand Prix on Sunday with (front left) Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula One Group, (left) FIFA president Gianni Infantino and (front right) Nasser Al-Khelaifi

The father-of-four has been criticised by human rights groups after signing the ambassador deal with the authoritarian state, which bans homosexuality and severely restricts women’s rights (Pictured: Beckham at Doha Grand Prix on Sunday with (front left) Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula One Group, (left) FIFA president Gianni Infantino and (front right) Nasser Al-Khelaifi

Beckham poses for picture with Sir Jackie Stewart (left) and a Qatari official on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix

Beckham poses for picture with Sir Jackie Stewart (left) and a Qatari official on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix 

Beckham pictured laughing while meeting with Sir Jackie Stewart during photographed visit to Doha Grand Prix on Sunday

Beckham pictured laughing while meeting with Sir Jackie Stewart during photographed visit to Doha Grand Prix on Sunday

Beckham made a tour of the grid before the race but was not seen among the spectators during the event (Pictured with Sir Jackie Stewart and Qatari official)

Beckham made a tour of the grid before the race but was not seen among the spectators during the event (Pictured with Sir Jackie Stewart and Qatari official)

Sir Jackie Stewart and Beckham pose for a pic on the grid of the 2021 Doha Formula One Grand Prix

Sir Jackie Stewart and Beckham pose for a pic on the grid of the 2021 Doha Formula One Grand Prix 

Sir Jackie Stewart grabs Beckham's arms during a meeting at Doha Grand Prix on Sunday alongside Qatari official

Sir Jackie Stewart grabs Beckham’s arms during a meeting at Doha Grand Prix on Sunday alongside Qatari official 

Beckham was all smiles while chatting to Sir Jackie Stewart (pictured left) and Qatari official (pictured right) on Sunday

Beckham was all smiles while chatting to Sir Jackie Stewart (pictured left) and Qatari official (pictured right) on Sunday 

Beckham was pictured touring the event grounds and posing for pictures with winner-to-be of the event Lewis Hamilton

Beckham was pictured touring the event grounds and posing for pictures with winner-to-be of the event Lewis Hamilton 

Usually prolific on social media, the football icon has yet to post about his Middle East visit, including his meeting with Hamilton (pictured)

Usually prolific on social media, the football icon has yet to post about his Middle East visit, including his meeting with Hamilton (pictured) 

Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the Formula One Group, talks with FIFA President Gianni Infantino and David Beckham before the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar

Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the Formula One Group, talks with FIFA President Gianni Infantino and David Beckham before the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar

Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the Formula One Group, talks with David Beckham in the Pitlane

Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the Formula One Group, talks with David Beckham in the Pitlane

Beckham watches the action from the McLaren garage during the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar at Losail International Circuit

Beckham watches the action from the McLaren garage during the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar at Losail International Circuit

Beckham poses for a photo with the Ferrari team before the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar on Sunday

Beckham poses for a photo with the Ferrari team before the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar on Sunday 

Beckham meets Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto in the garage before Sunday's race

Beckham meets Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto in the garage before Sunday’s race

Beckham and Ross Brawn, Managing Director (Sporting) of the Formula One Group, talk in the Paddock before the race in Doha on Sunday

Beckham and Ross Brawn, Managing Director (Sporting) of the Formula One Group, talk in the Paddock before the race in Doha on Sunday

On Friday, Beckham told his 69 million followers he had completed a gruelling exercise class, but without specifying his location.

It comes after sources told The Mail on Sunday that Beckham’s advisers have used the World Cup to ‘position’ his controversial deal as about celebrating football, despite it being tied to promoting Qatar.

One said: ‘It all seems a little more palatable for David to associate the contract with football and make it all about a festival of football.’

Amnesty International has accused the Football Association of failing to engage with it over human rights abuses in Qatar – unlike associations in other countries.

May Romanos, Amnesty International’s Gulf researcher for migrant rights, told the BBC’s Sports Desk podcast: ‘We had a meeting with the English FA in March last year, where we started the conversation around the role they could play in the lead-up to this World Cup. 

‘But we haven’t had any further engagement with them, unlike other FAs.’

But the FA said it was ‘categorically incorrect’ to claim there has been no dialogue since March 2020, adding: ‘We are in dialogue with Amnesty and also with FIFA, UEFA, other member associations and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.’

It said it would approach the tournament in ‘a socially responsible manner’, adding: ‘We believe there is evidence of substantial progress being made by Qatar in relation to workers’ rights, however we recognise there is still more to be done.’

England manager Gareth Southgate has said he and his players would ‘take time to educate ourselves’ over human rights issues. 

Human rights groups believe 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died on building sites in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup ten years ago.

A British paramedic, who worked for Qatar’s health service for three years, claimed he was regularly sent to deal with dead bodies bearing injuries consistent with being crushed or falling from a height. 

Beckham walks in the Paddock escorted by officials before the F1 Grand Prix in Doha on Sunday

Beckham walks in the Paddock escorted by officials before the F1 Grand Prix in Doha on Sunday 

Pictured left to right: FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the Formula One Group, Ross Brawn, Managing Director (Sporting) of the Formula One Group, FIA President Jean Todt and David Beckham during the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar

Pictured left to right: FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the Formula One Group, Ross Brawn, Managing Director (Sporting) of the Formula One Group, FIA President Jean Todt and David Beckham during the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar

Left to right: FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the Formula One Group, Ross Brawn, Managing Director (Sporting) of the Formula One Group, FIA President Jean Todt and David Beckham during the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar

Left to right: FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the Formula One Group, Ross Brawn, Managing Director (Sporting) of the Formula One Group, FIA President Jean Todt and David Beckham during the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar

Ross Brawn, Managing Director (Sporting) of the Formula One Group, FIA President Jean Todt and David Beckham walk in the Paddock before the race

Ross Brawn, Managing Director (Sporting) of the Formula One Group, FIA President Jean Todt and David Beckham walk in the Paddock before the race

Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the Formula One Group, sits down for a chat with Beckham in the Paddock

Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the Formula One Group, sits down for a chat with Beckham in the Paddock

Sources told The Mail on Sunday that Beckham's advisers have used the World Cup to 'position' his controversial deal as about celebrating football, despite it being tied to promoting Qatar (Pictured: Beckham during visit to Doha Grand Prix Sunday)

Sources told The Mail on Sunday that Beckham’s advisers have used the World Cup to ‘position’ his controversial deal as about celebrating football, despite it being tied to promoting Qatar (Pictured: Beckham during visit to Doha Grand Prix Sunday) 

Beckham has faced mounting pressure to reconsider his deal in recent days after an Amnesty International report stated the treatment of migrant workers in the country has deteriorated, while urging him to highlight their plight (pictured at Doha Grand Prix on Sunday)

Beckham has faced mounting pressure to reconsider his deal in recent days after an Amnesty International report stated the treatment of migrant workers in the country has deteriorated, while urging him to highlight their plight (pictured at Doha Grand Prix on Sunday)

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner and Beckham pose for a photo on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner and Beckham pose for a photo on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar

Beckham walks on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar at Losail International Circuit

Beckham walks on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar at Losail International Circuit

Beckham's camp declined to comment on a recent Amnesty report, which exposes the host nation's failure to investigate the deaths of construction workers after long shifts in blistering desert heat (Pictured: Beckham at Doha Grand Prix on Sunday)

Beckham’s camp declined to comment on a recent Amnesty report, which exposes the host nation’s failure to investigate the deaths of construction workers after long shifts in blistering desert heat (Pictured: Beckham at Doha Grand Prix on Sunday) 

Beckham stands on the grid ahead of the Qatari Formula One Grand Prix at the Losail International Circuit, on the outskirts of the capital city of Doha

Beckham stands on the grid ahead of the Qatari Formula One Grand Prix at the Losail International Circuit, on the outskirts of the capital city of Doha

Senior sources at Unicef, a key part of his charity work for 15 years, are 'dismayed' by Beckham signing a multi-million-pound deal with the Qataris (Pictured: Beckham looking out from grid of Doha Grand Prix on Sunday)

Senior sources at Unicef, a key part of his charity work for 15 years, are ‘dismayed’ by Beckham signing a multi-million-pound deal with the Qataris (Pictured: Beckham looking out from grid of Doha Grand Prix on Sunday) 

Reports have suggested Beckham will be paid £150m across the next 10 years in his deal with Qatar (Pictured: Beckham looks on from grid at Doha Grand Prix)

Reports have suggested Beckham will be paid £150m across the next 10 years in his deal with Qatar (Pictured: Beckham looks on from grid at Doha Grand Prix)

Drones illuminate the sky in the shape of a footballer over the Qatari capital Doha on Sunday to kick off the 365-day countdown to its controversial hosting of the World Cup

Drones illuminate the sky in the shape of a footballer over the Qatari capital Doha on Sunday to kick off the 365-day countdown to its controversial hosting of the World Cup 

'365 Days to go': Drones spell out countdown above Doha as Qatar to become the first Middle Eastern country to host the World Cup next year

‘365 Days to go’: Drones spell out countdown above Doha as Qatar to become the first Middle Eastern country to host the World Cup next year 

365 Days To Go is written in Arabic by drones over the Qatari capital Doha

365 Days To Go is written in Arabic by drones over the Qatari capital Doha

Qatar 2022 is written by drones over the Qatari capital Doha as the Gulf State begins countdown to next year's World Cup

Qatar 2022 is written by drones over the Qatari capital Doha as the Gulf State begins countdown to next year’s World Cup

Drones illuminate the sky in the shape of a football over the Qatari capital Doha

Drones illuminate the sky in the shape of a football over the Qatari capital Doha

He said: ‘The police would always say, ‘It’s an assault, or heart failure, or a collapse’, when it clearly was not.’

Beckham has faced mounting pressure to reconsider his deal in recent days after an Amnesty International report stated the treatment of migrant workers in the country has deteriorated, while urging him to highlight their plight. 

Beckham’s camp declined to comment on the report, which exposes the host nation’s failure to investigate the deaths of construction workers after long shifts in blistering desert heat.

It comes as Doha sent drones into the air on Sunday night in celebration of the controversial World Cup being just 365 days away – as the lit up flying devices arranged themselves to spell out ‘365 days to go’, ‘Qatar 2022’ and drew a football and a player kicking a ball. 

Senior sources at Unicef, a key part of his charity work for 15 years, have said they are ‘dismayed’ by Beckham signing a multi-million-pound deal with the Qataris. 

Reports have suggested Beckham will be paid £150m across the next 10 years.

Amnesty said he should use his position to ‘keep the world’s focus on the human rights issues surrounding the matches’ at next year’s World Cup.

The organisation said: ‘David Beckham has a unique worldwide profile which offers wide opportunities to highlight human rights issues in Qatar.’

Speaking out would entail a total U-turn on his part. 

During a trip to the country in 2019, he said he counted the country’s leader, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, as a friend. 

Beckham said at the time: ‘I think for me it’s what you want in a World Cup. You want to arrive somewhere and feel happy.’ 



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