Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Minders Slap Ban on Tough Questions

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Minders Slap Ban on Tough Questions

Article excerpt


DAVID BECKHAM'S minders today slapped a ban on the media asking probing questions or taking unauthorised photos of their star.

In a blatant attempt at image control, journalists at a promotional event in Japan today have been told not to quiz the England captain about his former team-mates, manager, pay or wife.

No photos of Beckham in "unsuitable positions and angles" will be allowed and all images are to be checked by minders before they are used.

Beckham arrived in Japan with his wife Victoria yesterday to start a 10-day Far East tour. He will promote chocolates and beauty treatments before moving on to Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam, where he will endorse engine oil. The couple were greeted by more than a thousand screaming fans when they landed at Tokyo's main airport.

Despite the massive worldwide interest in Beckham following his [pounds sterling]25 million move to Real Madrid, Beckham's sponsors have also banned all non-Japanese media from going today's opening event of the tour.

A tour spokesman said: "No questions about his relationship with any Manchester United personnel - managers, team-mates or owners.

"No questions about Victoria's career. No questions about how much he is paid by any club or any sponsor. Beckham simply will not address any controversial points or subjects. Any media that does ask such questions will not be permitted to ask any additional questions."

The spokesman added that journalists-were "encouraged" to ask Beckham about football in Asia, his World Cup experience, his goals, dreams, children and heroes.

One of his former team-mates, Rio Ferdinand, today hinted Beckham only decided to quit Manchester United after the board accepted a bid from Barcelona.

He said: "Even when he was applauding the fans at the end of the season I did not think he'd be leaving. It did not seem possible.

My friends asked me what was happening but I didn't have a clue.

"A week ago, it hit me when United said they had accepted an offer from Barcelona for Becks. I spoke to David on the phone and I think all footballers realise that once a club says it is prepared to sell you there is no going back. …

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