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On Thursday, human rights activists criticized David Beckham for fronting a glossy promotional campaign touting Qatar, the country that will host the 2022 World Cup, as “perfection,” despite worries over Qatar’s record on human rights.
On Thursday, human rights activists criticized David Beckham for fronting a glossy promotional campaign touting Qatar, the country that will host the 2022 World Cup, as “perfection,” despite worries over Qatar’s record on human rights. The former star of Manchester United, Real Madrid, and England has made an appearance in a series of videos that have been uploaded to the website of Qatar Tourism. In these videos, he tries out the local cuisine and art, and he also visits a desert camp, where he exclaims, “This is perfection for me!”
Felix Jakens, head of priority campaigns for Amnesty International in the United Kingdom, referred to the advertisements as “simply the latest sleek and nice video promoting Qatar that David Beckham has given his face to.”
Beckham was criticized by a rights monitor headquartered in London for failing to highlight “the country’s awful human rights record” in his remarks.
In the video used to promote the Arab state, David Beckham is heard saying that the country “really is a fantastic destination to spend a few days on a layover.” Beckham was referring to the fact that the nation is featured in the film.
“I have been counting down the days till I can bring my children home,” he continues.
In order to promote the gas-rich Gulf state that is playing host to this year’s World Cup, David Beckham reportedly struck a deal last year that was for 150 million euros (or 172 million US dollars). He now serves in the capacity of cultural ambassador.
Jakens requested Beckham to utilize his “special profile” to spotlight the “awful abuses” that tens of thousands of migrant workers have endured while working on multi-billion dollar World Cup sites. Jakens made this request in a letter that he sent to Beckham.
At the beginning of this year, Amnesty International recommended that the regulatory body of world football, FIFA, establish a USD 440 million fund for “abused” workers in Qatar.
In addition to allegations of unpaid salaries, the Arab state has been accused of underreporting the number of deaths and injuries that have occurred among its workforce.
There are also concerns regarding how well it respects the rights of the LGBTQ community as well as the rights of women.
Since it was granted the World Cup in 2010, the teeny-tiny state with conservative Muslim officials has been in the center of attention for human rights issues.
Some people believe that Qatar has not made sufficient progress over the past decade, and they believe that additional pressure should be put on the country as well as on FIFA before the opening game of the tournament, which will take place on November 20.
Since it was chosen to host the World Cup, Qatar has made a number of changes to its employment regulations in an effort to address concerns raised by international media outlets regarding the number of deaths of migrant workers that have been reported to have occurred in the country. Qatar, however, denies that as many deaths have occurred as have been reported.
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