David Beckham believes "sport has the power to be a force for good".

The former footballer has faced widespread criticism for his agreement to be an ambassador for Qatar, which is staging the World Cup, over the country's human rights record and has now finally addressed the backlash, saying he understands there are "different and strongly held views about engagement in the Middle East" but ultimately hopes the conversations will inspire change.

In a special edition of Joe Lycett's 'Got Your Back' on Channel 4 on Thursday (15.12.22), the comedian read out a statement from David's spokesperson.

It read: "David has been involved in a number of World Cups and other major international tournaments both as a player and an ambassador and he’s always believed that sport has the power to be a force for good in the world.

"Football, the most popular sport globally, has a genuine ability to bring people together and make a real contribution to communities.

"We understand that there are different and strongly held views about engagement in the Middle East but see it as positive that debate about the key issues has been stimulated directly by the first World Cup being held in the region.

"We hope that these conversations will lead to greater understanding and empathy towards all people and that progress will be achieved."

During the programme, Joe also spoke to Naser Mohamed, who claimed to be the first and only openly gay Qatari, because homosexuality is illegal in the country.

He said: "I was cut off by my family and the few friends I have can’t publicly be my friends.

"I know that the LGBT issues in Qatar are awful, I know that they’re life-threatening."

The man also claimed he was blocked by David's Instagram account after he tagged him in a post to say "this is what is happening" in regards to the LGBTQ+ community in Qatar.

Last month, Joe issued an online ultimatum to David, urging him to end his deal with Qatar before the tournament began or he would shred £10,000 of his own money.

He later released another video saying he had failed to get a response, so shredded the cash - but he eventually admitted it was a hoax and he had donated the cash to LGBTQ+ charities.