Eric Cantona has targeted his former Man United club-mate David Beckham for taking on an ambassador role at the upcoming World Cup in the Middle Eastern country.
The French football legend said it was a “huge mistake” by Beckham and others to take the positions, citing alleged human rights abuses reported in the build-up to the tournament in Qatar.
Australia’s Tim Cahill, Brazilian Cafu and former Barcelona stars Samuel Eto’o, Xavi Hernandez and Ronald de Boer also hold ambassadorships for November’s competition, while some outlets have reported that Beckham will be paid over €100m for his involvement .
Before the tournament, Cantona said he wouldn’t watch it.
“It’s all about money and how they treated the people who built the stadiums, it’s terrible. And thousands of people have died and still we will celebrate this World Cup. I personally won’t watch it. I understand football is a business. But I thought it was the only place anyone could have a chance.”
He told Football Magazine,the athletethat he would do the “opposite” if asked to join Beckham and others.
Cantona said some of those involved may know “what happened in Qatar”.
“There’s no way I would do it. I do the complete opposite. In January 2022 I started saying that. Maybe I was the first,” he said.
“But I’m free to do it. And of course an ex-player who was paid to do something like that… They might not know what happened there. Or, if they know, I think they did wrong. I think they made a big mistake. A big, big mistake.”
However, Cantona added that players cannot be convicted for representing their country in a competition.
“If you have a player who says, ‘I’m going to boycott the World Cup,’ say ‘Bravo.’ But you can’t judge a 20-year-old player who has a 10-year career and lives 24 hours a day in a world surrounded by people from football,” he said.
“But talk about the federations, talk about the politicians who have the power to say ‘no, we’re not going to the World Cup’. We can’t be disappointed if the players don’t want to boycott the World Cup because at the top, the politicians, the presidents, the federations, the ministers… The real power, anywhere in the world, they have the power to boycott it. It’s too easy to tell the players.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/britain/a-big-big-mistake-eric-cantona-criticises-david-beckhams-role-as-qatar-world-cup-ambassador-as-he-vows-to-boycott-tournament-42019954.html Eric Cantona says David Beckham made a “big, big mistake” in taking on the role of ambassador for the World Cup in Qatar and vows to boycott the tournament