Who is to blame for the 2022 World Cup? David Beckham

Former British soccer player David Beckham speaks to guests before a dinner celebrating American artist Jeff Koon’s exhibition titled Lost in America at the Museum of Islamic Arts in Doha, Qatar, November 20, 2021.Balkis Press/ABACA/The Canadian Press

About eight hours into a 12 hour flight is the point where you give up. Maybe you shouldn’t have had the beef? maybe you never land Maybe you should check out ‘David Beckham’s Qatar Stopover’?

When you think of football’s biggest crossover star, ‘naturally talkative’ and ‘winning with commoners’ don’t spring to mind. Now that his legs have failed, Beckham’s only true talent is provocative squinting. It’s hard to imagine anyone less qualified to do a Bourdain-esque travel show.

But the Qatari regime’s reported $250 million is a powerful incentive to try new things.

So here’s Beckham, looking completely out of place in high-waisted trousers and a full-body sock covered in tattoos, sifting through cumin alongside a Qatari chef. The cook is brave, but she looks like someone trying to figure out why she was sent shopping with a British sailor.

Qatar’s last-minute alcohol ban at the World Cup may just be revenge for near-constant criticism from the West

“I love going to spice markets,” Beckham says offscreen, sounding just a bit like a man new to the word “spice” in connection with “market.” The look on Beckham’s face says, “Is that the magic place where they make salt?”

Elsewhere, Beckham applies his passion for service journalism to jewelry (“Tell Me About Pearl Diving”) and the local art scene (“And Are There Many Talented Young Artists in Qatar?”).

Everyone knows journalism is easy, but did everyone know how lucrative it is? Walk nine figures for two, maybe three days and smile at the same time. And it’s not only rewarding — it’s rewarding too. The young, talented artists and such. Maybe more people should try it.

Unfortunately, none of this works very well for our local correspondent in Doha (or at least within sight of a yacht).

Somebody always had to take the blame for the World Cup being held in Qatar. Since it’s no fun yelling at the interchangeable officials making such decisions, that person would have to be a celebrity. Someone who feels pain when you poke them on TikTok.

Beckham probably already knows this from his vast network of contacts in the Persian Gulf, but we have breaking news from Doha – it’s him. David Beckham is to blame for the World Cup.

“Hang your head in shame”: David Beckham’s dream of billions made him Qatar’s “trained seal”.

This is a headline from the yellow end of the media spectrum.

‘No More Gay Icon’: Will Beckham’s Role in Qatar Destroy His Brand?

That’s a different thing from the broadsheet side.

As grizzled Pearl Divers correspondent David must know by now, the answer to a headline question is usually “yes,” and whichever is worse for you.

On Saturday, FIFA President Gianni Infantino did his best to oust Beckham at the top of the unpopularity chart.

In prepared remarks at the opening of the tournament, Infantino, an incredibly powerful Swiss lawyer currently based in Qatar, tried to share his pain with the world.

“Of course I’m not Qatari, I’m not Arab, I’m not African, I’m not gay, I’m not disabled,” Infantino said. “But I feel like it because I know what it means to be discriminated against … As a kid I was bullied because I had red hair and freckles, plus I was Italian, so imagine.” Yes. Introduce.

And then later: “If you have to criticize someone, don’t criticize the players… You can crucify me.” That’s what I’m here for.”

Well, let’s give everyone a chance to go to the hardware store.

As gloriously deaf as Infantino may be, the World Cup isn’t his fault. It’s not nearly glamorous enough.

People have forgotten a million Klirrer press conferences from top FIFA executives. Sepp Blatter’s thoughts on improving women’s football’s reach – “They could have tighter pants, for example” – remain a highlight. But they never forget when an idol soils his hem.

No, it has to be Beckham’s fault.

Beckham did his best to clear things up via another promotional video. This was sent to delegates at a youth conference in Doha.

“Qatar dreamed of taking the World Cup to a place it had never been before, but that just achieving something on the pitch would not be enough,” said Beckham with the deep devotion of a man who watched all night stayed awake to memorize the Kesselplatte. “The pitch would be a platform for progress.”

I suppose this is a limp attempt to take a firm stand. Whoever wrote it must have just jumped in from 2014. In the old days, words like “progress” and “diversity” could always get away with it. It does not work anymore. People are too keen on finding faults. You’re ready to do the research.

To get away with anything, you need a much smoother line and a much smoother delivery man.

Beckham may think that’s why Qatar dumped a boatload of money in his backyard, but that’s not the case. He’s about as effective a communicator as your average trout.

They paid him to divert attention and absorb pressure. Someone had to man the wicket where Europe could lodge their World Cup grievances. Beckham is the perfect person for this. You can kick him to the next World Cup from here and he’ll just keep smiling.

Will his reputation recover? I don’t know if he cares. Would it take you nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars to go from A-list to B-plus? It’s not like people goading him on the street. All he did is buff off the good polish. When the deal is over in 10 years, he can publicly apologize and some people will buy it.

All it costs him is a few days of his time, a few spooky videos, and a whole lot of dignity. It’s those kinds of ethical adjustments that put you on FIFA’s radar.

Maybe a few years from now it will be Beckham sitting on that podium and talking about how he feels everyone else’s pain and how they relentlessly bully him for just trying to enjoy some of his favorite spice markets.

Foreign correspondent James Griffiths will be in Qatar to cover the tournament, including how foreign fans are experiencing the World Cup. If you have a story and want to get in touch, email James [email protected].


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