‘Maybe he has a good argument, but I can’t see one’: Eric Cantona questions David Beckham’s ambassador role for the Qatar World Cup… after previously slamming his ex-Manchester United team-mate for making a ‘big mistake’

  • Eric Cantona has questioned David Beckham’s ambassadorial role in Qatar
  • The Frenchman claimed he ‘can’t see’ a good argument for him to take the role
  • Beckham agreed to be a leading figure in the build-up to the 2022 World Cup
  • Cantona previously suggested that Beckham had made a ‘big mistake’
  • The tournament was overshadowed by a raft of social issues in the country  

Eric Cantona has again criticised former Manchester United team-mate David Beckham for taking an ambassadorial role for the Qatar World Cup

The ex-England captain faced heavy scrutiny before and during the World Cup for his decision to be a ‘face’ of the tournament, despite it being overshadowed by a raft of social issues surrounding Qatar’s human rights record and persecution of the LGBTQ+ community.

Cantona slammed Beckham before the tournament and has again come out to question his decision.

David Beckham faced heavy criticism for his role as an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup

David Beckham faced heavy criticism for his role as an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup

Eric Cantona says he 'can't see' a good argument as to why Beckham decided to take the role

Eric Cantona says he ‘can’t see’ a good argument as to why Beckham decided to take the role

When asked how he feels about Beckham’s ambassadorial role in Qatar, Cantona told the Times: ‘If he really believes he has to do that promotion for the right reasons — I don’t know what the right reasons are — that is OK. 

‘But if it is only for money, it’s completely different. You have to ask him why he did it. Maybe he has a good argument, but I can’t see one.’

It was announced in February last year that Beckham had signed a £10million deal to became an ambassador for the country over the decade – which resulted in his role for the 2022 World Cup. 

Cantona knows Beckham well from their time together at Manchester United during the 1990s

Cantona knows Beckham well from their time together at Manchester United during the 1990s

During an interview for Neville’s Sky Bet-sponsored YouTube show The Overlap, Beckham said: ‘Speaking as a fan, I’ve been coming to Qatar now for a number of years. I’ve seen the hospitality, the warmth of the people. 

‘We talk about football being for everybody, we talk about the World Cup being for everybody and this is the first time the World Cup is being hosted in this region and that is an incredible moment.

Back in September, Cantona insisted that Beckham was making a ‘big mistake’ and questioned whether the England hero knew what was happening in Qatar.

When asked if he would ever adopt a similar role to Beckham, Cantona told the Athletic: ‘I would not do it at all. I do completely the opposite. In January 2022, I started to say that. Maybe I was the first one.

The former England captain signed a £10m deal last February to become an ambassador

The former England captain signed a £10m deal last February to become an ambassador 

Cantona claimed his former team-mate 'doesn't know what has happened' in Qatar

Cantona claimed his former team-mate ‘doesn’t know what has happened’ in Qatar

‘But I am free to do it. And of course, an ex-player paid to do this kind of thing… It could be they don’t know what has happened there. Or, if they know it, I think they did wrong. I think they made a big mistake. A big, big mistake.’

Beckham only addressed the criticism in December, when he stated that he believed that ‘sport has the power to be a force for good in the world.’

The statement, released through a spokesperson, said:  ‘We understand that there are different and strongly held views about engagement in the Middle East but see it as positive that debate about the key issues has been stimulated directly by the first World Cup being held in the region.’

The World Cup was overshadowed by a raft of social issues surrounding Qatar's human rights record

The World Cup was overshadowed by a raft of social issues surrounding Qatar’s human rights record

It added: “We hope that these conversations will lead to greater understanding and empathy toward all people and that progress will be achieved.’

Beckham’s relationship with Qatar goes back to his time as a player at Paris Saint-Germain.

It is understood the ambassadorial deal came about as a result of Beckham’s close friendship with the Qatari president of PSG, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, when the former Manchester United star played for the club in 2013.

The pair were photographed laughing together at an international match in Qatar in 2019 and Beckham has become a frequent visitor to the country.





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