Unicef defends David Beckham

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David Beckham pictured in the Philippines in 2014 meeting child survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. Photo by: Per-Anders Pettersson for Unicef.

Charity says the star has generously given his money, time, energy and support 

Paul Cardwell's photo

7th February 2017 by Paul Cardwell 1 Comment

Unicef has defended David Beckham, saying he has generously given his money, time, energy and support to the charity.

It made the statement after an alleged leak of emails purportedly to be between the former footballer and his publicist were leaked at the weekend leading to widespread criticism of the star.

Among the emails were suggestions Beckham, who has been a goodwill ambassador for the charity since 2005, haggled with the charity over donations, flights and hotel expenses.

The emails led to widespread allegations in the media that Beckham, who set up 7: The David Beckham Unicef Fund to support programmes for children, tackling issues such as malnutrition, violence, AIDS and emergencies in 2015, only carried out charity work in an attempt to get a knighthood.

Beckham and Unicef strongly deny this is the case and both issued strongly worded responses.

A statement from Unicef said: “David Beckham has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2005, and as well as generously giving his time, energy and support to help raise awareness and funds for Unicef’s work for children, David has given significant funds personally.

“Unicef works closely with high profile personalities in good faith to fundraise, advocate and make long-term change for children in danger around the world.

“Our ambassadors support Unicef in a voluntary capacity, receiving no fee for their time and commitment. They contribute greatly to Unicef’s work for children.”

The charity went on to list further details of Beckham’s work for the charity including that he had visited Swaziland last June to raise awareness of the devastating drought affecting Eastern and Southern Africa, helping the organisation reach people around the world with important messages about the need for urgent action.

It added that since the 7 Fund launched it has raised millions of pounds for Unicef programmes and reached millions of people around the world with crucial messages about its work for very vulnerable children.

A statement from a spokesperson for David Beckham said allegations were based on outdated material taken out of context from hacked and doctored private emails from a third party server and gave a deliberately inaccurate picture.

It added: “David Beckham and Unicef have had a powerful partnership in support of children for over 15 years. The David Beckham 7 Fund specifically has raised millions of pounds and helped millions of vulnerable children around the world.

'David Beckham has given significant time and energy and has made personal financial donations to the 7 Fund and this commitment will continue long term.

'Before establishing the 7 Fund, David had supported Unicef and a number of other charities over many years, including donating his entire earnings from PSG during his time playing there.

'David and Unicef are rightly proud of what they have and will continue to achieve together and are happy to let the facts speak for themselves.”

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