Comedian Joe Lycett has begun counting down the hours until he plans to spend £10,000 if David Beckham refuses to step down from his role as Qatar ambassador.
His comic has issued an ultimatum to the former England footballer after it was reported he had signed a £10m deal with the FIFA World Cup hosts.
The contest begins this weekend in Qatar, where homosexuality is still illegal and anyone found to be engaging in same-sex sexual activity can be punished with up to seven years in prison.
Birmingham-born comedian Lycett revealed the deadline last week in a video message posted on social media in which he offered to donate £10,000 of his own money to LGBTQ+ charities if Beckham ended sponsorship before the tournament started.
If not, Lycett has said he would live stream himself tearing up the money along with Beckham’s “gay status”.
In a video message directed to Beckham, Lycett praised the player for always talking about “the power of football as a force for good” but said Qatar was “one of the worst places in the world” for homosexuals”.
Lycett told the footballer: “If you end your relationship with Qatar, I will donate 10k dollars of my own money (that is a thousand dollars for every million dollars you are supposed to receive) for charities that support gay people in football.
“However, if you disagree, I will throw this money in the shredder at noon next Sunday, right before the World Cup opening ceremony, and stream it right here.
“Not only your money but also your status as a gay symbol will be ruined.
“Also, you will force me to commit a crime. Still, I think I’d get away with a lighter sentence if I was caught beating a boy in Doha.”
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Beckham has yet to publicly acknowledge or respond to the ultimatum, prompting Lycett to begin counting down the hours until the deadline.
On Saturday, the comedian tweeted a photo of what appeared to be a stack of cash with the captions “24 hours to…” and #benderslikeBeckham.
This follows a tweet on Friday of an image of a large wood chipper with the caption “48 more hours”.
I’ll throw money in the shredder right before the opening of the World Cup and stream it here. Not only your money but also your gay status will be ruinedJoe Lycett, comedian
There have been mixed reactions from fans of the comedian, who has appeared on a variety of comedy shows over the years including Live At The Apollo, Taskmaster, 8 Out of 10 Cats and also led the show Channel 4’s consumer rights program, Joe Lycett’s Got Your Backside.
Many people have taken to social media to urge the star to donate money to the food bank instead of shredding it at a time when the cost of living is soaring.
One Twitter user wrote: “Just a thought @joelycett but shredding it doesn’t help. Perhaps donating it to a gay charity or a food bank would be more helpful.”
Another tweeted: “Joe, are you really going to do this? I fully respect and agree why, but £10,000?
“It may be a small change for Becks and the Qatari tycoons, but a lot of people are living in the fresh air at the moment.”
Representatives for Beckham and Lycett have been contacted for comment.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/joe-lycett-prepares-to-shred-10000-over-david-beckhams-qatar-world-cup-deal-42157320.html Joe Lycett set to split £10,000 on David Beckham’s World Cup contract