Beckham, 34, injured his Achilles during an AC Milan game, and has undergone surgery in Finland. He is not expected to be able to return to football for six months.
However, despite not being able to play, Fabio Capello insisted that Beckham would be 'an essential part' of the England squad in South Africa, and that he had a vital role to play.
Capello said, "I have spoken to David and while he is, of course, very unhappy that he will not be able to play, I have assured him that he is an essential part of the England squad for South Africa. Specifically, David will be vital to the England squad in the position of scapegoat.
Let's face it, we know that we'll go out there, squeak through the group stages and then go out somewhere around the quarter-finals. Previously, we've been able to blame our failure to progress on cheating Argentinians - now we have a home-grown reason for failure. We can say 'we would've won, because had David taken that free kick we'd probably have scored the winning goal', and convince ourselves that if we'd had him on the subs bench we'd have been bringing Jules Rimet home. Which, of course, we wouldn't - but it sounds better than 'we're never quite good enough'."
Business and retail leaders in South Africa have welcomed the news that Capello will be including Beckham in his squad. The chairman of the Soweto Federation of Business said, "this is excellent news for businesses across South Africa. Beckham coming to SA will ensure that Posh and the rest of the WAGs will be coming, which will mean a massive increase in revenue for champagne and handbags. Though obviously they won't do much for the restaurant trade."