Football fans were left questioning the reason behind not adding him to the list of honours this year.
Qatar World Cup ambassador David Beckham has yet to receive a knighthood from the Queen again, despite his prominence in the sports industry, The Mirror has reported.
The knighthood is an honour given by Queen Elizabeth II during the celebration of her accession to the throne.
Beckham took to Instagram to acknowledge the Queen’s role, saying,”Today, we celebrate our Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 70 years of service and inspirational leadership of our country. Let’s come together and commemorate her remarkable reign with a great British party these next few days.”
The Queen had granted Beckham with the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 2003. However, as the Queen celebrates her special platinum jubilee, 2022 marked another year without Beckham’s name on the knighthood recipients.
The recipients of the honours this year included Euan Blair, the son of former UK prime minister Tony Blair. The former British official’s son was named as a ‘Member of the Order of the British Empire’ for services to education.
The Mirror reported that Beckham’s fans were left questioning the reason behind not adding the former footballer to the list.
According to the British tabloid, Beckham was off the list for more than 10 years due to a technical error that was reportedly resolved last year. The reported issue was related to Beckham’s connection to a tax avoidance scheme in 2013.
Some 140 celebrities were allegedly involved in the scandal.
The honours committee would usually issue a red warning to individuals linked to such schemes, before removing them from the nominations process. The clearance of Beckham from the reported offence raised hope in granting him the honours this year.
The Mirror said that Beckham was added to the recommendations list for this year.
Alleged leaked emails
In 2017, reports also showed Beckham allegedly expressing his frustration over being off 2013’s list through leaked email exchanges with PR adviser Simon Oliveira.
Beckhamd allegedly said the honours committee were “unappreciative [insult]” and described the system as “a [insult] joke”. Reports also claimed that Beckham said he did not “care about being knighted.”
Other leaked text, widely shared by British papers, quoted the former footballer saying, “I expected nothing less. It’s a disgrace to be honest and if I was American, I would [have got] something like this 10 years ago.”
Some emails showed Beckham allegedly responding with, “the [insult] money is mine,” in response to a suggestion by Oliveira to donate $1 million to a UNICEF event. Beckham has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the organisation since 2003.
While Beckham did not comment on the matter, his spokesman said the story was “based on outdated material taken out of context.” UNICEF also issued a statement saying that the British figure “has given significant funds personally.”
Following the incident, a spokesman for the British football legend said his emails were “hacked”, “doctored” and “private”, as quoted by the BBC.
The hacker was believed to be connected to Football Leaks, a website that is the equivalent of Wikileaks in the sports world.
Investigations indicated that the hacker had verified the material to European Investigative Collaborations, a network of journalists, before leaking it to the press.
World Cup ambassador
Beckham’s prominent role in the sports industry was recognised last year after being named an ambassador for Qatar’s World Cup 2022.
British tabloid papers, including The Sun, claimed last year that the deal to have Beckham as an ambassador for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was worth £15 million a year and will last “over the next decade.”
This would raise the total to £150 million.
Sources with knowledge told Doha News that the amount was false, saying the actual figure and duration of the deal is far from what has been reported by British media. His appointment as an ambassador for the first World Cup in the Middle East would see him join a long list of international, regional and local football legends.
The prominent sports figures include Tim Cahill, Cafu, Samuel Eto’o, Xavi Hernández and Mohammed Aboutrika, among others.
*Doha News has redacted the insults in accordance with its editorial policy, which does not allow the publishing of offensive language.