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David Beckham under fire for Earthshot Prize awards amid Qatar controversy

Embattled football legend David Beckham is again under fire for a decision some are saying is hypocritical.

The 47-year-old former England captain has been in the firing line since before the FIFA World Cup began, which he is being paid by Qatar to promote.

Beckham is reportedly being paid $17.7 million to be the face of the Qatar event – which has undoubtedly been the most controversial World Cup in history.

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Other reports say the one-time sporting superstar is earning in the vicinity of $264 million to promote tourism in Qatar over a 10-year period.

The criticism levelled at Beckham has largely been due to his long-time status as a gay icon, given homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and can be punishable by prison or death.

But now he’s copping it for flying to Boston to present an award at the Earthshot Prize, which is organised by Prince William and recognises contributions to environmentalism.

Five award recipients each year receive one million British pounds ($1.8 million AUD) to further their environmental efforts.

The award winners tune into the event virtually so as to reduce their carbon footprint but, ironically, the star-studded list of guests are all flown in from around the globe to attend in person.

Beckham was flown from Qatar to Boston and was snapped in a tuxedo meeting with the royals and other celebrities.

“Now, I’m an optimist because humans are capable of great creativity when we collaborate,” Beckham told the ceremony in a speech.

“We create beauty in art, music, film, and of course, sport. We create things that bring us comfort in this challenging world.

“But, we also create waste. We make over 300 million tonnes of plastic per year. That’s the equivalent, in weight, to every adult on Earth.”

Critics were quick to take Beckham to task for his hypocrisy, lecturing on waste when being paid by Qatar – one of the world’s biggest polluters.

It continues what has been a disastrous week for one of the biggest personal brands in sport.

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