King Charles III and Prince William criticized over Qatar World Cup controversy

Gary Neville pointed out King Charles III's acceptance of charitable donations from a Qatari politician amid criticism of footballers supporting the tournament

King Charles and Prince William criticized over Qatar World Cup controversy
(Image credit: Future: Canva / Getty)

Prince William is facing criticism for his absence at the World Cup 2022, following King Charles III's reported acceptance of charitable donations from a Qatari politician. 

  • King Charles III and Prince William have been criticized by one of the UK's top football pundits following the Prince of Wales' absence at the World Cup in Qatar. 
  • Gary Neville, a former England football player, suggested it was hypocritical to judge footballers for attending the tournament in Doha after King Charles III accepted charitable donations from a senior Qatari politician. 
  • In other royal news, the Queen’s wedding bracelet featured sweet connection to Prince Philip’s family.

Prince William has been criticized for his absence at the World Cup 2022 in Doha after it was revealed that King Charles III accepted charitable donations in cash from a senior Qatari politician. 

Speaking to ITV on Monday, Gary Neville addressed the controversy of his involvement with BE-in, a Doha-based broadcaster serving the Middle East and North African region, ahead of the upcoming tournament. The England football pundit appeared to take issue with the level of criticism aimed specifically at sportspeople supporting the World Cup in Qatar, which has long held a reputation for its history of human rights abuses. 

"If Prince William doesn’t want to come to this tournament but he’s okay with his father taking charitable donations, that’s fine," the 47-year-old said. "If the political MPs don’t want to come over but are happy to take money from them in our country for their political parties that’s fine with me, but I always see it as footballers and ex-footballers coming under criticism." 

Gary Neville

(Image credit: Getty)

It was revealed in June 2022 that King Charles III would face an investigation from the Charity Commission following a Sunday Times report that claimed he received a suitcase filled with millions of euros in cash from a Qatari politician. The newspaper claimed that His Majesty accepted three lots of cash amounting to €3 million for his foundation from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim between 2011 and 2015. The investigation was dropped, however, in August 2022. 

"We have assessed the information provided by the charity and have determined there is no further regulatory role for the commission," a spokesperson for the Charity Commission said in a statement at the time. 

In October, Kensington Palace confirmed that Prince William has 'no plans' to attend the World Cup 2022 in Qatar due to his 'busy winter schedule'. 

The 40-year-old, who is also the president of the Football Association, will be in the US to present the Earthshot Prize while the tournament is on. Despite his absence at the upcoming games, the Prince of Wales has made it no secret he's rooting for his country to win. He was praised for giving the England football team a 'boost' last week, after heading to St. George's Park to present each Lion with their official number before they headed off to Qatar. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.