‘A gay icon no more’: will David Beckham’s Qatar role kill his brand?

The man once called ‘Golden Balls’ has put his enduring appeal to the test in becoming the face of a controversial World CupWherever Fahad, a gay man in his 40s, walks in his home city of Doha, from the Qatari capital’s coastal promenade, known as the Corniche, to the gleaming streets of the super-modern downtown Msheireb district, David Beckham smiles down from the billboards and the big flashing screens.The former England captain, husband to the former Spice Girl Victoria, father to Brooklyn, Romeo, Harper and Cruz, is not just a face of the World Cup kicking off this Sunday, he is the pre-eminent figure – a 2022 version of the 1966 mascot World Cup Willie some might be tempted to say, if not something cruder.

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