Comedian Joe Lycett shares the truth behind World Cup money shredding stunt

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By Phoebe Egoroff

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Joe Lycett - the comedian who made headlines after announcing he would shred $12,000 if David Beckham didn't end his contract as the ambassador for the FIFA World Cup - has shared the truth behind the attention-grabbing stunt.

The idea first came to Lycett after it was announced that soccer veteran Beckham would be the face of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. This year, it's being held in Qatar.

This alone has caused a slew of controversies - with international civil rights groups criticizing FIFA for choosing to hold the event in a nation with a track record of human rights abuses.

In fact, aside from Qatar's stance on women's rights, the country has come under fire for its treatment of the migrant workers who built the eight stadiums in anticipation of the soccer competition.

The Guardian even reported that migrant workers were required to work up to 14 hours a day, earning just 53 cents an hour while toiling in 113-degree heat. Thousands ended up dying of heatstroke and exhaustion.

London-based Lycett's chief concerns, however, are in relation to Qatar's apparent disregard for the rights of LGBTQ+ identifying people. Homosexuality is currently illegal, and is even punishable by seven years in prison.

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Lycett took issue with Beckham's ambassadorship of this year's FIFA World Cup, as it is being held in Qatar, a nation with a troublesome history regarding human rights. Credit: WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy

The comedian, who himself identifies as pansexual, has taken issue with the fact that Beckham continued his ambassadorship of this year's World Cup, despite being a vocal ally of the gay community.

Lycett had given the former England captain an ultimatum after learning that he was paid $12 million to be an ambassador of the event.

He further stated that he would donate $12,000 of his own money to LGBTQ+ charities if Beckham ended his sponsorship before the start of the tournament, the BBC reported. Lycett then gave the father-of-four a deadline of midday on November 20 to respond.

The former professional soccer player seemingly ignored the message - in fact, just last week he had stated at a live event in Doha: "Qatar dreamed of bringing the World Cup to a place that it had never been before, but that it wouldn't be enough just to achieve things on the pitch. The pitch would be a platform for progress."

After hearing no word from Beckham, Lycett took it upon himself to post a video shredding the cash using an industrial-sized shredder.

The stunt eventually made headlines, garnering over three million views and intense scrutiny. However, he has since announced in a separate video that everything was not as it seems. Taking to Twitter, the 34-year-old said the cash that entered the shredder was real but it was confetti that shot out on the other side.

"I would never destroy real money, I would never be so irresponsible," the comic said.

He did reveal that he had actually donated the full amount of the cash to LGBTQ+ charities before giving Beckham an ultimatum. "I never expected to hear from you. It was an empty threat designed to get people talking. In many ways, it was like your deal with Qatar, David, total bulls**t from the start," Lycett quipped in the video.

The only real thing that Lycett did shred, however, was the 2002 cover of gay lifestyle magazine Attitude, on which Beckham appears as the publication's cover star. He explained that it was the "first ever cover of a gay magazine with a Premier League footballer on it," PinkNews detailed.

Apparently, Lycett had even asked Attitude for permission to shred the magazine featuring Beckham, which he says they agreed to.

"It's all been quite a lot this, hasn't it?" Lycett added, before finishing off the video by saying: "Right! I'm off down the gay village for a few pints."

Featured image credit: WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy

Comedian Joe Lycett shares the truth behind World Cup money shredding stunt

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

Joe Lycett - the comedian who made headlines after announcing he would shred $12,000 if David Beckham didn't end his contract as the ambassador for the FIFA World Cup - has shared the truth behind the attention-grabbing stunt.

The idea first came to Lycett after it was announced that soccer veteran Beckham would be the face of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. This year, it's being held in Qatar.

This alone has caused a slew of controversies - with international civil rights groups criticizing FIFA for choosing to hold the event in a nation with a track record of human rights abuses.

In fact, aside from Qatar's stance on women's rights, the country has come under fire for its treatment of the migrant workers who built the eight stadiums in anticipation of the soccer competition.

The Guardian even reported that migrant workers were required to work up to 14 hours a day, earning just 53 cents an hour while toiling in 113-degree heat. Thousands ended up dying of heatstroke and exhaustion.

London-based Lycett's chief concerns, however, are in relation to Qatar's apparent disregard for the rights of LGBTQ+ identifying people. Homosexuality is currently illegal, and is even punishable by seven years in prison.

wp-image-1263179282 size-full
Lycett took issue with Beckham's ambassadorship of this year's FIFA World Cup, as it is being held in Qatar, a nation with a troublesome history regarding human rights. Credit: WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy

The comedian, who himself identifies as pansexual, has taken issue with the fact that Beckham continued his ambassadorship of this year's World Cup, despite being a vocal ally of the gay community.

Lycett had given the former England captain an ultimatum after learning that he was paid $12 million to be an ambassador of the event.

He further stated that he would donate $12,000 of his own money to LGBTQ+ charities if Beckham ended his sponsorship before the start of the tournament, the BBC reported. Lycett then gave the father-of-four a deadline of midday on November 20 to respond.

The former professional soccer player seemingly ignored the message - in fact, just last week he had stated at a live event in Doha: "Qatar dreamed of bringing the World Cup to a place that it had never been before, but that it wouldn't be enough just to achieve things on the pitch. The pitch would be a platform for progress."

After hearing no word from Beckham, Lycett took it upon himself to post a video shredding the cash using an industrial-sized shredder.

The stunt eventually made headlines, garnering over three million views and intense scrutiny. However, he has since announced in a separate video that everything was not as it seems. Taking to Twitter, the 34-year-old said the cash that entered the shredder was real but it was confetti that shot out on the other side.

"I would never destroy real money, I would never be so irresponsible," the comic said.

He did reveal that he had actually donated the full amount of the cash to LGBTQ+ charities before giving Beckham an ultimatum. "I never expected to hear from you. It was an empty threat designed to get people talking. In many ways, it was like your deal with Qatar, David, total bulls**t from the start," Lycett quipped in the video.

The only real thing that Lycett did shred, however, was the 2002 cover of gay lifestyle magazine Attitude, on which Beckham appears as the publication's cover star. He explained that it was the "first ever cover of a gay magazine with a Premier League footballer on it," PinkNews detailed.

Apparently, Lycett had even asked Attitude for permission to shred the magazine featuring Beckham, which he says they agreed to.

"It's all been quite a lot this, hasn't it?" Lycett added, before finishing off the video by saying: "Right! I'm off down the gay village for a few pints."

Featured image credit: WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy