|Real Madrid's David Beckham waves to fans after his side beat Deportivo la Coruna on 26 May 2006. London's Evening Standard has reported that officials in Britain are wrangling over whether the former England football captain should be given a knighthood since he is moving to Los Angeles this summer.[AFP]
Officials in Britain are wrangling over whether former England football captain David Beckham should be given a knighthood, London's Evening Standard reported Thursday.
Civil servants have been asked to consider whether he is suitable for the top honour, awarded by Queen Elizabeth II, but some have argued that he should not be made Sir David because he is moving to play in the United States, the paper said.
"His name has been put forward but there is a view among some officials that it should not be approved while there is a conflict between his future as an England player and his contract with an American club," an unnamed source told the paper.
"Some officials feel that there is nothing wrong with honouring a player who is based in Europe and free to represent his country if required, but feel there is a big difference if the same player is earning his main income and paying tax in the United States and unable to play for England."
But a spokewoman for the Cabinet Office, which coordinates policy across departments, denied that such discussions had taken place and said that civil servants could not put the brakes on a nomination.
Beckham, 32, has just earned arecallto the England squad and is due to move from Real Madrid to LA Galaxy in Los Angeles in August.
His new club is reportedly concerned that his resurrected England career could clash with his commitments to them, hinting that he may not be released for non-competitive games.
He was awarded the lower OBE (Order of the British Empire) award in 2003 and could see that upgraded to a knighthood within a few months, either in premier Tony Blair's resignation honours list or the queen's birthday honours list.
As well as his footballing success, his claims for the top award are bolstered by his charity work and role in helping to secure the 2012 Olympics for London.
His wife, former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, who would become Lady Victoria if her husband was honoured, told the BBC last year: "It's just so camp, it's wonderful isn't it? Lady Victoria...that would be quite amazing."
Downing Street has refused to comment on the story, while royal officials never comment on likely recipients of gongs in advance.