Joe Lycett has begun counting down the hours until he plans to shred £10,000 if David Beckham refuses to pull out of his role as a Qatar ambassador.
The comic issued an ultimatum to the former England footballer after it was reported he had signed a £10 million deal with the FIFA World Cup hosts.
The contest kicks off today at 4pm in Qatar – where homosexuality is still illegal and anyone found participating in same-sex, sexual activity can be punished with up to seven years in prison.
On Saturday the comedian tweeted a photograph of a stack of cash with the caption “24 hours to go…” and #benderslikeBeckham.
This follows a tweet on Friday of an image of a large woodchipper with the caption “48 hours to go”.
— Joe Lycett (@joelycett) November 19, 2022
Joe unveiled 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 David ended the sponsorship before the tournament started.
If not, the comic has said he will livestream himself shredding the money at 12pm on Sunday along with David’s “status as gay icon”.
In a video message directed at the sportsman, Joe commended him for always talking about “the power of football as a force for good” but said Qatar is “one of the worst places in the world to be gay”.
He told him: “If you end your relationship with Qatar I will donate ten grand of my own money (that’s a grand for every million you’re reportedly getting) to charities that support queer people in football.
“However, if you do not I will throw the money into a shredder at midday next Sunday, just before the opening ceremony of the World Cup and stream it right here.
“Not just the money, but also your status as gay icon will be shredded.
“Also you’ll be forcing me to commit what might be a crime. Although even then, I reckon I’ll get off more lightly than I would if I got caught whacking off a lad in Doha.”
Joe Lycett and David Beckham
David is yet to publicly acknowledge or respond to the ultimatum, prompting Joe to begin counting down the hours until the deadline.
There has been a mixed response from fans over the comedian’s intentions.
Many took to social media to urge the star to donate the money to a food bank rather than shredding it at a time when the cost of living is soaring.
Representatives for Joe and David have been contacted for comment.