Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Court ruling expected on Gabon's contested election results

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Clinton's Comedy Turn

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Sarkozy's Populist Pivot, Bahamas Leaks, Syria Truce, Rome Olympic Bid (Part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US Police Shootings: Race relations and the race to the White House (Part 1)

Read more

#TECH 24

Breaking the wall between technology and people

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Rural France: Challenges and opportunities

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: In Burma, ex-political prisoners struggle to return to normal life

Read more

ENCORE!

Xavier Dolan: Wunderkind of Québecquois cinema

Read more

FOCUS

The battle for UK Labour’s leadership

Read more

Sports

Will Beckham move to PSG help burnish Qatari image?

Text by Stéphanie TROUILLARD

Latest update : 2013-02-22

British football star David Beckham’s move to Paris Saint-Germain should help the Qatari-owned club pick a long sought-after title, but the gulf state’s ambitions are likely aimed beyond the pitch.

On Thursday the football world learned that British football star David Beckham would soon call Paris home, with the 37-year-old former Manchester United midfielder signing up to play for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) through the end of the current season.

The move should help the Qatari-owned club in its quest to claim the French championship and sell merchandise, but French observers say it will also deflect attention from allegations of corruption dogging Qatari's successful bid for the 2022 World Cup.

According to Arnaud Hermant, the author of the investigative report “PSG, Qatar and Money”, the announcement that Beckham was joining the League-leading Parisian club was less surprising than its peculiar timing.

“It may be that it was done in response to Qatargate,” Hermant told France 24 in reference to running allegations that Qatar paid off FIFA officials to win the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

The corruption claims began circulating last year, but this week the magazine France Football reported it had new evidence that votes were bought.

“This is a perfect way to restore the country's image. Beckham is one of the world’s most famous players. He is a very likable star who enjoys a very positive image,” Hermant, who has been following the PSG for over a decade, said.

Beckham is expected to help PSG’s chances of clinching the Ligue 1 championship, an honour that has eluded the squad for the past 19 years.

But Beckham will be the French leagues second oldest player, and few doubt his recruitment is as aesthetic as it may be helping the team finish first.

Date created : 2013-02-01

  • FOOTBALL

    David Beckham joins France's PSG football club

    Read more

  • FOOTBALL

    Beckham turns down move to Paris St Germain 'for family reasons'

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French politicians call for salary cap on Beckham’s expected €10m at PSG

    Read more

COMMENT(S)