Melanie C has said she “wouldn’t be comfortable” performing at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as an LGBTQ+ ally.
The host nation has faced widespread condemnation over its views on homosexuality (which is illegal in Qatar), women’s rights, and the deaths of migrant workers who built the stadiums for the tournament.
David Beckham, meanwhile, has faced particular criticism owing to his reported £10million deal to serve as an ambassador for the competition – a move that is seen to be at odds with the star’s “gay icon” status.
Comedian Joel Lycett recently described Beckham’s deal as “total bullshit” while revealing the truth behind his £10k shredded money stunt.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Mel C – whose former Spice Girls bandmate Victoria is married to Beckham – explained: “Personally, I’m an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and it’s not something I would feel comfortable in doing.
“People want to go over there and help to make a change. Each to their own, but it would be a no from me if the offer came.”
Earlier this month, Lycett offered to donate £10,000 of his own money to queer charities if Beckham ended the sponsorship deal before the World Cup started and promised he would shred the cash if he didn’t withdraw.
The comedian appeared to follow through with the vow on Sunday (November 20) before explaining that he’d actually donated the cash rather than destroying it.
“I never expected to hear from [Beckham],” he told viewers in the video. “It was an empty threat designed to get people talking. In many ways, it was like your deal with Qatar, David. Total bullshit from the start.”
The clip concluded with Lycett shredding Beckham’s 2002 Attitude magazine cover from June 2002. It marked the first time a gay magazine had featured a Premier League footballer on the front.
This Monday (November 21), the England national team clinched a 6-2 victory over Iran at their first game of the World Cup 2022. They’re due to play the USA on Friday (November 25).
England manager Gareth Southgate previously promised that his players would speak out about human rights abuses during the tournament. “Regarding the LGBT community, we stand for inclusivity and we are very, very strong on that,” he said. “We think that is important in terms of all our supporters.”
Earlier this week, however, England, Wales and five other nations announced that they would no longer be wearing ‘OneLove’ armbands at the Qatar World Cup.
Meanwhile, Robbie Williams has defended his decision to perform as part of this year’s World Cup next month. The pop star said it’d be “hypocritical” for him not to go to Qatar, “because of the places that I do go to”.