Joe Lycett has threatened to shred £10,000 of his own money if David Beckham does not end his controversial multi-million-pound deal with Qatar to promote the World Cup.
In an ultimatum posted on social media, the comedian also warned Beckham “your status as a gay icon will be shredded” if action was not taken.
If Beckham does pull out of the deal, Lycett said he would donate the money to charities “that support queer people in football” – otherwise he will shred it.
The former England captain has previously been supportive of gay fans and players, but he has been strongly criticised for agreeing to be an ambassador for Qatar in a deal Lycett said is worth £10m – but which other reports have put as high as £150m.
Qatar bans same-sex relationships and has a poor human rights record with many football fans saying they will boycott the World Cup.
In the video, Lycett sat at a desk with £10,000 cash and said: “This is a message to David Beckham. I consider you, along with Kim Woodburn and Monty Don, to be a gay icon.
“You’re the first premiership footballer to do shoots with gay magazines like Attitude, to speak openly about your gay fans, and you married a Spice Girl, which is the gayest thing a human being can do.
“But now it’s 2022. And you signed a reported £10m deal with Qatar to be their ambassador during the FIFA World Cup.
“Qatar was voted as one of the worst places in the world to be gay. Homosexuality is illegal, punishable by imprisonment and, if you’re Muslim, possibly even death.
“If you end your relationship with Qatar, I’ll donate this 10 grand of my own money, as a grand for every million you’re reportedly getting, to charities that support queer people in football.
“However, if you do not, at midday next Sunday I will throw this money into a shredder just before the opening ceremony of the World Cup and stream it live on a website I’ve registered called benderslikebeckham.com.
“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded. You will be forcing me to commit a crime.”
Many have voiced concerns over the rights of fans travelling to the event, especially LGBTQ+ individuals and women, whom campaign groups say Qatari laws discriminate against.